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A group of 18 delegates from across Ireland have been in North West Wales sharing their knowledge and experiences of heritage focussed regeneration and learning more about the Welsh approach.

First published:
13 April 2017
Last updated:

Their visit, which was hosted by the Historic Environment Service (Cadw) of the Welsh Government included visits to the towns of Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Conwy.  
During the two days of intense learning, the delegation met officials, community representatives and prominent social enterprises and considered issues such as the best ways of protecting character and the innovative use of the arts in regenerating communities.
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, said:
“I am pleased that Cadw were able to welcome the Irish delegation to North Wales and show them the rich history and heritage of Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Conwy.  
These towns all showcase the various good practices that exist in Wales to promote heritage and maximise the potential economic benefits of the sector to Wales . 
“The Welsh Government is committed to helping communities to protect and promote their local heritage and this visit provided a valuable opportunity for us to learn lessons from the Irish approach.”

The delegates were all representatives from the Irish Walled Town Network, which is run by the Heritage Council of Ireland. The support network has over 15 towns across both the Republic and Northern Ireland that are focussed on empowering communities, in trying to utilise their rich heritage to improve understanding, conservation and their economic fortunes. 
Liam Mannix, the Irish Walled Town Co-ordinator said:

“We all recognise that Wales and Ireland have world class cultural heritage - this visit is about making the most of what both countries have to offer and how we can learn from each other.
“The network is continuously looking to improve and respond to good practice.”
The final day of the visit concluded with a seminar at Galeri Creative Arts Centre, Caernarfon where over 50 delegates had presentations and opportunities to discuss different practice from both Ireland and Wales.