The Tywi Centre objectives are to ensure everyone who is responsible for looking after, or working on an old building has the right information, skills and materials for carrying out sensitive and appropriate repairs. This will ensure that the old buildings of West Wales, both listed and non- listed, are around for a further 100 years and more.
The Tywi Centre is based at Dinefwr Farm, Llandeilo. It is a Grade II listed group of barns, originally the Home Farm of the Newton House Estate, which is now run by the National Trust. We have classroom facilities and can accommodate up to 20 people on a course or at a meeting, and an area for displays about old buildings. We also have a series of specialist skills training facilities: a Plastering workshop where students can learn about plastering onto laths and creating running moulds; an outdoor shelter to practice external rendering techniques; a Carpentry workshop, large enough to accommodate both sash window work and timber frame repairs; and space to deliver stonemasonry training.
We work with owners of old listed and non-listed buildings, with heritage and non-heritage contractors, with colleges and local charities – in fact anyone who wants to look after old buildings in Wales. We can deliver one-to-one ‘surgeries’; training in maintenance and repair; specific craft skills training; guidance leaflets; and endless encouragement and support.
I am the Senior Built Heritage Officer at Carmarthenshire County Council and have been working in traditional building conservation at the Tywi Centre since 2008. I live in an old building and so am familiar with all the challenges that come with it! I am responsible for managing the Built Heritage Services of the county and delivering all the Tywi Centre projects, so if you need any training or general information about old buildings please contact me. If I can’t help you I will always be happy to point you towards someone who can. I am also involved in working across Wales to promote the heritage building agenda with the Welsh Traditional Buildings Forum and Cadw, amongst others.
Over the past 10 years, Helena has been developing and delivering heritage skills training programmes throughout Wales. In her unique role as the Heritage Skills and Projects Officer, she is able to work with people that share her passion for conserving old buildings to access the training and education they need.
Helena previously managed the HLF funded Bursary Training Programme which has seen over 100 people become qualified in traditional building skills.
Helena's focus is on continuing to develop training opportunities in Wales to ensure that access to the knowledge and skills required to work appropriately Wales’s incredible heritage is readily available.
James is the Built Heritage Officer for Carmarthenshire County Council with responsibility for the protection of the historic built environment including 1,950 listed buildings and 27 conservation areas. If you require any advice relating to those historic assets, it will be James that you need to liaise with.
James holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Conservation of the Historic Environment and has been working the Local Planning Authority for over 10 years. He has full professional membership to the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.
Since his time with the Local Planning Authority, he has experienced the rich architectural and historic Character of Carmarthenshire. This has allowed him to build up a real knowledge and appreciation of historic buildings and areas of the region.
You can find out more about how to look after your listed building by visiting the Carmarthenshire County Council website.
With over 30 years in the in the construction industry, Tom has a wealth of knowledge and experience on which to draw. He has recently achieved MCIOB Chartered Builder status. Gaining this internationally recognised qualification is a tremendous achievement and recognition of his true professionalism in the field of Heritage Construction.
He has run his own specialist joinery and building business for 25 of those years before moving into delivering Level 1, 2 and 3 training and assessments in heritage carpentry and plastering and the repair and maintenance of all traditional buildings.
Following Tom’s graduation with a 1st class honours degree in Building Conservation and Management, he joined the Tywi Centre team in 2012. Tom delivers practical training on construction sites and in workshop situations, as well as classroom based delivery using digital media. His own academic education continued with his attainment of a Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement in 2015, and a Level 3 Certificate in Learning & Development in 2016.
Alongside Tom’s training and assessing he is currently working as Conservation Officer for the Brecon Beacons National Park, which has enabled him to hone his knowledge in conservation principles, policy and legislation.
Since 2011 Ruth has been responsible for the management of heritage construction programmes through the Tywi Centre in Llandeilo. She is currently employed as a project manager on the Heritage Construction in Wales project which aims to strengthen the heritage construction sector through offering training and support. Ruth's aim is to raise the profile of heritage construction training and as a result educate and support owners of traditional buildings. Connect with heritage contractors and other professionals who feel passionate about Wales' old buildings and how we can protect them is central to her role.