The Vision

UWTSD is offering an ambitious and bold vision for Lampeter and the vicinity. It is a long-term scheme that relies, to a great extent, on local and national support. The University will work closely with Ceredigion County Council, Coleg Ceredigion and Coleg Sir Gâr, Lampeter Town Council, the Welsh Government, the UK Government and a variety of other partners in Lampeter, Ceredigion and Mid Wales to develop the initiative over a period of time. The hope is that the development will stimulate economic, social and cultural activity in the area and inject new life and energy into the town.    

The University intends to see Canolfan Tir Glas maintaining an eco-system in the area that will support rural infrastructure and act as a catalyst for the promotion of tourism economy with a clear focus on food and hospitality. Sustainability will be at the core of the entire scheme, with this theme permeating through all its components.

The vision has six specific parts:

  1. Pontfaen Food Village
  2. Community Food Hub
  3. Academy of Contemporary Food Wales
  4. A Rural Enterprise Hub
  5. The Wales Centre for Resilience and Harmony
  6. CWIC Welsh Timber and Building Performance Development Centre 

These components will all be interconnected providing a unique opportunity for the town and the University to work together strategically for the benefit and prosperity of the local economy for years to come.

The scheme’s starting point is Aldi’s capital investment in relation to the Pontfaen fields. A key factor in choosing Aldi as a partner was its commitment to the vision as well as its reputation for corporate responsibility with regard to promoting sustainability, health and equality. Hand in hand with Aldi’s neighbourhood store will be a cluster of food cabins where local produce will be celebrated in partnership with local food businesses and  Food Centre Wales in Horeb.   

Selling a third of the land in Pontfaen to Aldi will enable the University to upgrade the playing field, renovate the historic pavilion and invest in a food and hospitality training centre in the town centre. It will also enable it to renovate the Willows building on the campus, developing it into a temporary headquarters for Canolfan Tir Glas and the home of the Rural Enterprise Hub and the Wales Resilience and Harmony Centre.

However, the most significant development will be the Academy of Contemporary Food Wales on the University’s campus. The aim is to bid for funds from the Mid Wales Growth Deal in order to establish a national centre that would be a focal point for teaching, training, research and food policy both locally and nationally. This will be a farm to fork institution embedded in the culture, community and economy of the region and Wales as a nation but set in the global context of the urgent challenges that face the food system, specifically climate and nature, rural economy, health, food inequality and food security. It will sit at the centre of food education in the region working closely with schools and further education colleges to develop a coherent and connected approach to food education in agriculture, secondary food production, catering and hospitality.

The Rural Enterprise Hub will have an important role to play in promoting and supporting small businesses in a rural context, with a specific focus on the food and hospitality industries. The Hub will concentrate on providing support and training for those wishing to develop higher business skills and gain access to professional training. The hub will also be home to a cluster of incubation units for graduates and local people wishing to establish their own businesses.

The Wales Centre for Resilience and Harmony will be another important development that will concentrate on providing practical training and experience in fields relating to alleviating and adapting to climate change and sustainable living and working skills. This Centre has been developed as a result of a partnership between the University, Lampeter Resilience Hub, the Harmony Institute, Coleg Ceredigion and Coleg Sir Gâr.

By establishing a national centre for wood science and technology, the University aims to collaborate with Woodknowledge Wales to bring together dedicated resources and research in order to promote modern and sustainable methods of construction with the aim of decarbonising the construction industry in Wales in due course.

In order for the vision to bear fruit, the University is very aware of the importance of including the community in the developments from the offset. The community’s ownership of the developments will be key. In this regard, the goal is to build on current strengths and establish wealthy networks of partnerships locally, across Ceredigion and beyond. Communicating regularly on various platforms will be key to maintaining interest, encouraging participation and stimulating new ideas.

Our vision is to develop a unique offer in Lampeter by working closely with the local community, developing skill levels in the area, creating brand new work opportunities and attracting further investment to the town.

As the current pandemic has changed people’s attitudes towards the environment, health and wellbeing, and as Welsh Government is increasingly emphasising the main principles of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, establishing Canolfan Tir Glas will be a timely and welcome development locally and nationallyh