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Volunteers wanted for archaeology project at copperworks site

Volunteers are wanted to take part in a history and archaeology project at Swansea's Hafod Morfa Copperworks.

Hafod Morfa Copperworks site

The Copperworks Discovery Project offers opportunities to learn about the copper industry, acquire new skills and contribute knowledge, photos and stories to the development of the site.

The works will build up to major regeneration and conservation plans, which could see Penderyn Distillery expanding their business onto the site with a new distillery and visitor centre.

Having been awarded a first round pass for the planned scheme, Swansea Council, in partnership with Swansea University, will be soon be applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £3.75 million grant that would also help further preserve the internationally significant site.

As the hunt for archaeology volunteers gathers pace, two launch events have been arranged at Hafod Community Centre for anyone interested in taking part to find out more. Taking place from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursday January 18 and Thursday January 25, the launch events will include expert talks from representatives of the International Committee for the Conservation of Industrial Heritage, the National Waterfront Museum, the University of South Wales and the Historical Metallurgical Society.

The talks will be followed by history and archaeology workshops in coming months at Swansea University, West Glamorgan Archives, Hafod Community Centre and on site at the copperworks.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, said: "With enormously exciting plans in the pipeline for the Hafod Morfa Copperworks site, this history and archaeology project will give local people the chance to be part of a scheme that will conserve vitally important heritage for generations to come.

"Many people in Swansea will have had relatives who once worked at the site, so this is also an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors and celebrate a site that placed Swansea at the heart of the world's copper industry.

"The history and archaeology project will also build on a huge amount of preservation work that's already been carried out at the Hafod Morfa Copperworks, thanks to the CU@Swansea project the council is delivering in partnership with Swansea University. These works have included stabilising buildings at risk, introducing an audio visual trail and new information panels, and improving access for visitors by clearing vegetation and putting new pathways in place."

Earmarked for construction between the powerhouse and rolling mill building at the copperworks, the planned visitor centre would give access to different site levels, using materials appropriate to the historic setting.

Featuring Penderyn brand colours and copper-based equipment forming part of the whisky-making process, the proposals are aimed at celebrating the site's heritage and supporting local businesses.

Contact Richard Lewis on or 07834 715033 to register your interest in the history and archaeology project.

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