The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has launched the Wales Centre for Resilience and Harmony at its Lampeter Campus.
The Centre is part of the University’s Canolfan Tir Glas initiative, an ambitious and bold new vision for Lampeter which is underpinned by economic regeneration. The aim is to create new jobs, establish the town as a major tourist destination and attract more students to study a wide range of programmes in Lampeter.
The Wales Centre for Resilience and Harmony will focus on areas relating to alleviating and adapting to the effects of climate change, providing training relating to sustainable living and working within rural communities in West Wales.
During the evening, held on Friday, 19 November, speakers included UWTSD’s Professors of Practice who will be supporting the initiatives, Professor David Cadman, Professor Simon Wright and Professor Richard Dunne as well as Julia Lim of the Lampeter Resilience Hub, Associate Professor Nick Campion, Director of the Harmony Institute, and Anna Jones, UWTSD’s Civic Mission and Sustainability Manager.
The launch event will be followed by a programme of activities on the theme ‘Learning from Nature’, with contributions from academics, experts in food and farming, students, local and social enterprises and will include talks, exhibitions, practical indoor and outdoor activities including guided walks around the campus and the town. The activities will focus on the theme of resilience, education, wellbeing, biodiversity and restoring nature.
Both events are seen as an opportunity for the public to engage with the University and to contribute to discussions and activities around resilience at the beginning of an exciting new era for the University at Lampeter and for the community it serves.
The University is working closely with Ceredigion County Council, Coleg Ceredigion and Coleg Sir Gâr, Lampeter Town Council, the Welsh Government, the UK Government and various other partners in Lampeter, Ceredigion and Mid Wales, to develop the initiative to its full potential.
Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Provost of the Lampeter campus said: “As a core institution, the University recognises that it has a central role to play in the regeneration of the town.
“Some three years ago, the University received a letter from the Lampeter Permaculture Group offering a number of suggestions for development here in Lampeter. Those suggestions centred on how concerns for a sustainable future, especially in local food production, together with the great beauty of the landscape, attract people to this area. It offered an opportunity to work together to provide a place where people could learn both practical skills and theoretical knowledge to develop the resilience we need. This scheme would also mean that local young people of a wide range of abilities would be able to find courses here that would enable them to stay in the area to live and work.
“Now, three years later, through the endeavours of university staff, Coleg Ceredigion and Coleg Sir Gâr and, in particular, the members of the Lampeter Resilience Hub, we have reached the stage where we can formally launch the Wales Centre for Resilience and Harmony.
“The Centre is a key development for the University here at Lampeter. It forms part of a new ambitious and bold vision for Lampeter, entitled Canolfan Tir Glas, which aims to facilitate and accelerate economic growth in and around Lampeter. Strengthening economic resilience is at the heart of the vision, most of all, by taking advantage of the range of natural assets that exist locally”.
Selwyn Walters, Lampeter Mayor said: “The future of the University at Lampeter has always been held dear in the hearts of our townspeople. We therefore welcome the Canolfan Tir Glas initiative as an ambitious plan which will define the future role of the Lampeter Campus and enhance the existing reputation our district has as a centre for diversity, resilience, and sustainability, not only nationally but internationally. The recent launch of the Welsh Centre for Resilience and Harmony at Lampeter is already a positive step in this process, and we look forward to the further development of the project.”
Julia Lim of the Lampeter Resilience Hub said: “Lampeter Resilience Hub looks forward to our evolving partnership with the University and FE colleges as together we build a new course structure firmly rooted in the natural principles of harmony and regeneration. We are eager to launch the first of our new courses at Lampeter and begin to showcase the wealth of local resources and people with skills to share”.
Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor added: “The development of the Wales Centre for Resilience and Harmony, as part of the Canolfan Tir Glas initiative, offers an exciting future for the Lampeter campus centred on its location in Ceredigion and the needs of the communities it serves.
“The initiative builds on the strong academic tradition of the university and responds to regional priorities. We are working at grassroots level to upskill, reskill and create opportunities for local people to engage with education and find and retain employment closer to home. The opportunity to do so is imperative for the sustainability of our bilingual rural communities here in Wales”.