Aberglasney has received almost a million pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project to create a new heritage horticulture training facility at the Gardens.

The project aims to provide inspiration and training for a new generation of gardeners as well as students with learning difficulties and school children and is the latest in a line of restoration projects at Aberglasney.

The facility will be housed in a group of derelict farm buildings on the site, once the piggeries of Aberglasney Home Farm. As well as restoring the traditional buildings, there are also plans for a spectacular new greenhouse.

Aberglasney is already regarded as one of Britain’s finest historical gardens and the development of this new training facility along with the restoration of the buildings in which it will be based will ensure their continued success and a horticultural legacy for future generations.

As well as teaching students heritage methods of gardening, the buildings we’re restoring will also house a nursery for propagating plants which it’s hoped will make Aberglasney almost self-sufficient.

Head Gardener Joseph Atkin’s desire to impart his knowledge goes beyond his students too as the facility will also be open to visitors to Aberglasney. People will be encouraged to walk in and see students and the gardening team at work.

The HLF grant will also, amongst other things, fund the creation of a mini-arboretum and meadow walk, a new composting facility and a ‘green’ heating system as well as enabling the appointment of a part-time Senior Horticultural Trainer and funding two year-long traineeships in heritage horticulture skills. A new ‘Gardening through Time’ display will also be installed in Aberglasney’s Victorian Aviaries and a number of new trails on the history of the site, plants, wildlife spotting and biodiversity will be established.

Richard Bellamy, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, said: “Aberglasney has a rich and varied history stretching back over many centuries and thanks to National Lottery player’s money, this project will provide new opportunities for local people to get involved with the Gardens and its heritage. We are particularly excited to see how the traineeships will develop much needed heritage horticultural skills and how the rich natural heritage of the Gardens will be better understood.”

When all the work is complete, which is expected to be by late summer, the visitor experience at Aberglasney will be greatly enhanced, the area covered by the Gardens will be increased by around 20% and everyone visiting the site will gain a greater insight into heritage horticulture and its importance.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund: From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is the UK’s largest dedicated funder of heritage:

  • It invests around £430 million a year on a broad range of projects - from museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions
  • HLF has supported just over 38,000 projects allocating more than £6.6 billion across the UK since the establishment of the Lottery in 1994
  • In Wales HLF has invested over £323 million and supported over 2,300 projects in local communities all over the country.
  • For more information visit their website www.hlf.org.uk or follow HLF on Twitter @HLFCymru