The Trust, in its business planning, has begun to identify a number of different activities which it will undertake in the Centre once it is open. Indeed a number of its ideas have already been tried out during the long gestation of the project since 1999. At heart they will all some connection with the history and traditions of the Abbey and the estate farm which followed the Dissolution. At the moment these fall under five broad headings, although these will undoubtedly expand as we develop our plans and talk to potential partners.
These headings are:
• Research: Phase 2 of the current work and further developments with our partners - this will include excavations open to the public whether as participants or visitors. This will probably be achieved through summer schools and other activity weekends through the year.
• Education: Learning across a wide range of disciplines at all levels from primary school to university masters programmes and on into extra-mural learning
• Cultural Tourism and Interpretation: enhancing the visitor experience in the cultural heritage of Strata Florida and its landscapes
• Ecological Tourism and Interpretation: enhancing the visitor experience in the ecology and natural environments of this part of west and central Wales, through study events and volunteer conservation programmes
• Sustainability in the Landscape: promoting the sustainable use of the countryside, reflecting on the models given by the evidence within the historic landscapes themselves. Here linkage to key partners will be vital with activity centring on the demonstration of, and skills acquisition, in the various relevant practices, focussing in particular on innovation.
• Traditional Skills: renewing and imparting skills in materials and techniques to conserve the best of the past, in a rural region rich in historic buildings and landscape elements, from hedgerows to ancient woodlands
• The Arts: promoting the understanding the place of the arts in the life of the Abbey and the estate, especially sculpture, architecture and literature. We will also continue to work with artists of all kinds to promote the use of art to create emotional and creative links between the past and the present. Our most striking achievement her is the Pilgrim, a large sculpture by Glenn Morris on the skyline to the east of the Abbey.
• Community Regeneration through Heritage: creating a sustainable centre to bring income and employment to local communities and to advance their own senses of identity and well-being. Community fairs and other events will be important. In 2017, for example, we will have the Nanteos Cup for a brief stay while we celebrate all that it represents in tradition and legend.
• Health and Well-being: Strata Florida with its great infirmary and holy wells had an important role in Welsh society. So, building on the ancient practices and traditions of this very spiritual place we will create events and activities to enhance human well-being
In addition we will offer the venue for organisations and individuals for special events, especially those which value Strata Florida for all that it historically and culturally represents.
This page copyright © Professor David Austin, Chairman Strata Florida Trust