Name of new Swansea Valley Welsh centre announced

It has been announced that Tŷ’r Gwrhyd will be the name of the new Welsh centre being established in the Swansea Valley.

The project to establish a Welsh centre in Pontardawe is a partnership between Swansea University’s Academi Hywel Teifi and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council. The project has received a grant of £300,000 from the Welsh Government through the Bwrw Mlaen Capital Investment Grant 2015-16 to modify the centre and to purchase resources for the project. Tŷ’r Gwrhyd (pictured) will hold Welsh-medium social activities, community events, Welsh for adults lessons, an educational programmes for all ages, as well as being home to a Welsh bookshop and offices. It will also be home to Menter Iaith Castell-nedd Port Talbot, supporting the Menter’s projects to promote the use of Welsh in the area.

Ty'r Gwrhyd The name Gwrhyd derives from the Gwrhyd Mountain, one of the Swansea Valley mountains, but the word ‘gwrhyd’ also has broader meanings befitting the nature and objectives of the new project.

Dr Gwenno Ffrancon, Director of Academi Hywel Teifi, said: "When choosing a name for the new Welsh centre, we wanted to embed the centre deeply within the community that it serves, and what better way to do so than by using the unique and familiar name of one of the area’s mountains, in order to reflect the fact that the Welsh language is as permanent in that community as is the mountain itself.

"‘Gwrhyd’ also has two other meanings. It can mean the distance between a person’s two outstretched arms and the aim of Tŷ’r Gwrhyd will be embrace the community and the Welsh language, offering a welcome and support. Another meaning is resilience, courage and bravery. Our hope in establishing Tŷ’r Gwrhyd is forging a robust centre to support the Welsh language, halting its decline in the Swansea and Neath Valleys."

Ty'r GwrhydThe logo for Tŷ’r Gwrhyd was created by Galactig, part of the Rondo Media Group, a bespoke digital agency based in North Wales. Derick Murdoch, Creative Dircetor of Galactig, said: “We wanted the branding for Tŷ’r Gwrhyd to capture the landscape surrounding the new Welsh Centre. The map contours in the logo are based on the actual geographical footprint of Gwrhyd. This roots the branding, and therefore the new Welsh centre, in its locality. Translucent mountain shapes in the background represent the passage of time and suggest the presence of the Welsh language like an immutable mountain.”

Swansea University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B. Davies, said: "Swansea University is delighted to lead this important project and work with partners to support and promote the use of Welsh, especially among young people and learners. We take pride in the fact that research by two scholars at Swansea University led to the policy to set upWelsh centres, and Academi Hywel Teifi will ensure that Tŷ’r Gwrhyd is a dynamic language centre which will allow people to live, learn and socialise in Welsh."

Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council Cllr, Ali Thomas OBE, said: “Neath Port Talbot Council is again pleased to be working in partnership with Swansea University to develop a centre in the Swansea Valley that will support and promote Welsh language activities. This reinforces our commitment to work with partners to deliver a vibrant and strategic programme that will contribute to the promotion of the language beyond the classroom and other formal settings. The proposed name for the centre reflects the local area and I have no doubt that it will be much used and appreciated by our communities.”

The conversion of the building in Pontardawe started during January 2016 and the aim is to open Tŷ’r Gwrhyd in April 2016.