ARWAIN Sir Benfro employees recently visited Newport Memorial Hall to see for themselves the impact of a £52,000 LEADER grant awarded to the hall’s medieval kiln project.

The medieval pottery kiln, located under the floorboards of the memorial hall is believed to be the best preserved medieval kiln in the UK. It has been declared as an important British artefact unique to Pembrokeshire, Wales and indeed the UK.

The medieval pottery kiln community project seeks to develop heritage tourism in order to benefit north Pembrokeshire. It also aims to uncover Newport’s medieval history, involving all ages of the community by offering opportunities to participate in various activities.

The LEADER fund provided financial assistance towards the educational, social and economic element of the project and towards the heritage community coordinator post.

The garden of the memorial hall has been excavated and more than 10,000 shards of pottery unearthed and recorded. The kiln itself is much bigger than originally thought and a possible second kiln has also been discovered.

It is hoped that the site will open in late summer, followed by a year-long programme of events, festivals and activities.

The medieval kiln is just one example of the great projects being delivered in the county.

Arwain Sir Benfro is currently inviting submissions of project ideas from local community groups, organisations or businesses.

“In 2016 Arwain Sir Benfro projects amounted to £1.2m and there is further funding and support available now in 2017,” said Cris Tomos, animation and impact officer.

“If you have an innovative idea that could benefit your community, you may be able to get funding from the LEADER programme and we would love to hear from you.”

Further information about LEADER, which is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, financed by the Welsh Government and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) or Arwain Sir Benfro can be found at

If you have an idea, or would like further details on how to apply, please contact Jess or Cris at PLANED on 01834 860965