About the Heritage Tourism Project

Picture of the European Regional Development Fund logo which is the source of the funding for the Heritage Tourism Project

European Regional Development Fund - the source of the funding for the Heritage Tourism Project

The Welsh Government is managing a project to develop heritage tourism in Wales. The project is largely funded by the Welsh Government and from EU Convergence Funds and will help maximise the economic value of heritage by increasing the number, length and value of visits to Wales. The project is also helping open Wales’s outstanding heritage to a wider audience by making it more enjoyable both for visitors and for people who live in Wales.


Cadw is working with Visit Wales, Natural Resources Wales and the Valleys Regional Park to develop a strategic coordinated approach to using funds available as part of the Convergence programmes. Six strategic project ideas were taken forward, which have been developed from the Welsh Government’s Cultural Tourism Strategy and Sustainable Tourism Framework — the Heritage Tourism Project is one of these.


  • Cadw is leading the Heritage Tourism Project having successfully bid for Convergence Funding under the Priority 4, Theme 3 heading, Environment for Growth (or E4G, for short). The project will run until December 2014 and is worth a total of £19m.
  • £8.5m will be provided by European Funding
  • £9m will be met by the Welsh Government, including Cadw and the Targeted Match Fund
  • Delivery partners will provide the remaining funds
  • All funding for this project has been allocated

Aims of the project

Cadw is working with communities, heritage partners and the tourism sector across Wales to improve the visitor experience and provide a more integrated range of heritage tourism activities by, for example, developing heritage tours, trails and events packages. The intention is to connect individual heritage sites with other heritage attractions and with the local community and the surrounding area, as well as to link to broader interpretive stories and themes.

The project focuses upon:

  • Improving physical and intellectual access to heritage sites to attract a wider range of visitors
  • Marketing, promotion, referrals and product packages
  • Using iconic sites as gateways to other ‘hub’ attractions for regional heritage attraction development
  • Undertaking access and safety improvements at sites
  • Developing and implementing pan-Wales heritage interpretation themes and stories.

Follow the story

As a result of this project, visitors can follow story strands across Wales to learn more about the national history and heritage. The main themes that are explored in these projects are Origins & Prehistory, Roman copnquest and settlement, Spiritual and inspirsational landscapes, the castles and princes of Wales (Princes of Deuheubarth, Princes of Gwynedd, Owain Glyndwr, Edwardian Castles and Marcher Lords), Industrial history and the Defence of the Realm.

Spreading the benefits across Wales

The project sees investment in heritage sites across the Convergence Area (north and west Wales and the Valleys) and across the sector, including some sites directly managed by Cadw. It also supports developments at sites in local authority and voluntary sector hands. The project also promotes some of Wales’s less well-known heritage treasures (An outline of proposed activities is available for download).

Other information

Convergence funding is the successor to the Objective 1 programme 2000–2006, and covers 15 local authority areas in west Wales and the Valleys. The funds are administered by the Welsh European Funding Office and further information on their work can be found on the WEFO website. If you have any questions, please email cadwhtp@wales.gsi.gov.uk. Alternatively, please contact the Heritage Tourism Project Co-ordinator at Cadw, Plas Carew, Unit 5/7 Cefn Coed, Parc Nantgarw, Cardiff CF15 7QQ Telephone 01443 33 6035.