Conwy was first stop for the Minister, where he saw how £610,000 of Welsh Government funding from the Heritage Tourism Project has improved the visitor centre and enabled the introduction of new interpretation facilities, which includes the work of five Welsh based artists responding to the history of the Castle in their own voices.
The innovative approach is combined with new information boards and an interactive family trail to help visitors get the most out of their visit to the World Heritage Site.
Mr Lewis said,
“Conwy Castle is a wonderful example of how different parts of government can work together to achieve something special. This fabulous new centre is a hub of learning inclusivity and the new interpretation facilities will enable our many friends from all over the world to appreciate this historical landmark with us.”
Conwy Castle is one of 128 historic sites in state care and managed by Cadw, and has the second highest visitor numbers in Wales, at nearly 200,000 visitors every year.
The Minister then moved on to Denbigh Castle, where he officially opened the castle’s new visitor centre.
“Our heritage is great opportunity for us to welcome the world to Wales and we can promote this image of Wales on the international stage, from this marvellous new visitor centre. I know that the Castle itself makes a significant contribution to the local economy, and I am delighted to be here."
Denbigh castle has on average 8,000 visits per year. This is the first time since Cadw has directly managed the castle that the site will be open throughout the Winter. This Thursday will be free entry for all.
The extension of existing town wall illuminations at Denbigh has been carried out through Cadw’s Eco –lighting project and funded through the Welsh Governments Strategic Capital Investment Fund (SCIF).
The Heritage Tourism Project is supported by the Welsh Government and European Regional Development Convergence Fund. The project will maximise the economic value of heritage through increasing the volume, length and value of visits to Wales. The Project will also ensure that Wales’ outstanding heritage is more accessible and enjoyable to visit – both to visitors and people who live in Wales.