The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has appointed rural development expert, Wynfford James, as a Professor of Practice, and Strategic Board member of the Tir Glas initiative in Lampeter.

The title of ‘Professor of Practice’ is bestowed upon an individual to honour and recognise that person for having attained academic and/professional distinction in those disciplines which are aligned with the strategic intentions of the university.

Wynfford’s expertise will assist the University in developing the Tir Glas vision in Lampeter, a vision based on a community of thinking and experiential learning devoted to the study and development of sustainable rural life.

Wynfford is a former Senior Civil Servant with the Welsh Government’s Rural Affairs Department and was the Managing Director of Antur Teifi, one of Wales’s most successful Enterprise companies until he joined the Welsh development Agency Business Support Division to head up the Agri-Food Directorate. The Enterprise Agency led the field in developing a network of business support centres throughout the region while developing the first Innovation Park and Food Centre in West Wales.

At the Welsh Development Agency, he led the development of support and engagement with the agriculture and food industry. Under his leadership, it is recognised that the sector gained new recognition both domestically and internationally. In 2005, while based in the Amsterdam office of the International Division of the WDA, he formulated plans to maximise the benefit of inward investment within the food and drink sector.

Following the establishment of the National Assembly of Wales’s Aberystwyth Office , he joined the Senior Civil Service in the Rural Division where he led the Food for Wales, Food from Wales 2010/2020: Food Strategy.

In 2016, having left the Civil Service he established a company to focus on work relating to rural development issues. One of the major projects was that of the Arsyllfa which has created a platform to inform and discuss issues on rural development policy and action.

Wynfford said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed Professor of Practice and I hope that my work in rural development can bring additional value and instrumental enrichment to the development of Tir Glas so that the work of the Arsyllfa will serve as a platform to share its expertise.”

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor said : “I’m delighted to welcome Wynfford James to the University and I look forward to his contribution to the future development of the Tir Glas initiative. Wynfford is a well-known and highly respected individual in Wales who has done so much work to promote Wales and Welsh values. His expertise and his experience of the opportunities and challenges facing rural communities will be a great boon to the University and our partners.”

Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Provost for UWTSD’s Lampeter and Carmarthen campuses adds: “The Tir Glas initiative will benefit greatly from Wynfford’s immense knowledge and experience in the area of rural regeneration as it aims to establish in Lampeter a vibrant, dual sector, lifelong learning campus that will support the needs of the regional economy on the one hand and enhance the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of the town on the other.”