A local theatre company has been chosen to work with the communities of two Pembrokeshire seaside towns to help create arts trails and encourage vibrant town centres.

Small World Theatre, Cardigan’s artist-led company, has been appointed to work closely with the communities of Fishguard and Goodwick.

Small World will help to design and create a new trail, or series of trails for the twin towns as part of a wider regeneration drive funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, financed by the UK Government under the Levelling Up Programme.

This aims to encourage vibrant town centres, maintain and increase footfall to support shops, decrease vacant buildings, create jobs and increase a sense of pride in place.

Small World Theatre was chosen from ten applications from all over the UK, following a competitive evaluation process involving members of the Regeneration Place team at Pembrokeshire County Council and an external public art specialist.

The trails will be an opportunity to celebrate the distinctive history, culture and stories of the area and make an appealing attraction for local people and tourists alike.

Regeneration arts development officer, Ruth Jones said: “We are thrilled that a community-oriented, west Wales based company submitted the best application for this project.

“Small World Theatre are professional artists and performers known for their event based and community driven work.

“This combination of skills will ensure that the community is involved throughout the development of the trails and that the outcomes are both innovative and high quality.”

The creative group is headed up by the company’s founding directors, artists and performers Ann Shrosbree and Bill Hamblett. They will be working with Gideon Peterson, a Pembrokeshire based artist with many years’ experience in creating public realm artwork using a range of metals.

Toby Downing and Ben Cramp are also named in the team. This creative duo specialises in playful and interactive sculptural projects using upcycled materials.

A digital wayfinding element will also be developed by digital and animation artist Séan Vicary and creative technologist Steve Knight. David Pepper, Fishguard based musician, curator and walking guide completes the team.

“We are looking forward to engaging with people of all ages to create a trail that reflects and expresses the community’s collective ideas and vision in beautiful Abergwaun and Wdig,” said director of Small World Theatre, Ann Shrosbree.

The project kicks off with community engagement sessions starting on Wednesday, December 20, with an introductory Meet the Artists talk at Fishguard’s Theatr Gwaun at 6.30pm.

This will be followed by two fun, co-creation sessions at Fishguard Town Hall on January 20 to begin developing ideas for the project. There will be more opportunities for different groups and individuals to get involved.

In January 2024, applications from Pembrokeshire based artists will be sought for a paid opportunity to join the team for ten days as a mentored artist. If this appeals to you, come along to the engagement sessions and meet the artists to find out more.

The trails will be completed by autumn 2024 and will be launched through community public events,bringing people together to celebrate.