The project, called ‘Loving the Lysaght’, is being run by Linc Cymru (Linc) with £54,600 funding from the Lottery Heritage Fund.
Officially launched on 7th December 2018, when the Lysaght Institute celebrated its 90th anniversary, the project is made possible by money raised by National Lottery players. The ‘Loving the Lysaght’ project aims to tell people’s stories about their time at the Lysaght Institute as they socialised with friends, danced in the famous ballroom, played skittles or called in for a drink after work.
When the Lysaght Institute originally closed in 2001, it had seen many members of the community pass through its doors. After its closure, the local community began campaigning against the demolition of Lysaght Institute and looked for someone to take over its ownership. Linc reopened Lysaght Institute in 2012 following a £3 million refurbishment.
As well as delving into the history books, the project seeks to improve people's wellbeing by providing new opportunities to socialise, bringing together different generations of the community and encouraging people to share their stories and memories.
Suzy Bowers, Community Engagement Assistant at Linc said:
“We’re thrilled to have received funding from the Lottery Heritage Fund for this project. Lysaght Institute is steeped in history; it was an integral part of the community through the war years and saw fashions change through the 60s and 70s, so there must be lots of history to discover and memories to share.
Local residents often tell me stories of how they met their husbands and wives there, or how they used to dance in the ballroom. I regularly hear the phrase ‘I love the Lysaght’ and am looking forward to running this project to learn more about this fantastic venue.
At heart of the project will be the contribution made by the local community, and there are lots of ways people can get involved. You can get in touch and share your story with us or join our research group who are looking into the history archives. We’ll also be holding events at Lysaght to share the stories and history we discover.”
Richard Bellamy, Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales said:
“The Lysaght Legacy is a great project as it shows clearly how local heritage can be a catalyst for lots of different activities and bring people together behind a common purpose. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is pleased to support Linc Cymru in its plans to enable people to enjoy the history on their own doorstep.”
During the next few months ‘Loving the Lysaght’ will focus on Lysaght during World War Two, bringing different generations of the community together by sharing this heritage with school children from across Newport. The first of these events will be held at Lysaght Institute on 6th June 2019 from 10am - 2pm. If you would like to attend this event, you can turn up on the day.
To share your story, or to find out more about any upcoming events, contact Suzy Bowers on 0800 072 0966 or email firstname.lastname@example.org