The Copperopolis project, which is at the heart of regenerating Hafod-Morfa copper works, has been selected as an example of how universities across Wales are working with their communities, creating social and economic benefits.
The project, led by Swansea University, has involved community groups, schools, colleges and charities. The focus has been on regenerating the Hafod-Morfa works, which was once the centre of the world copper industry.
The work has illuminated the rich industrial heritage of the Lower Swansea Valley and its importance to the city.
Dr Alex Langlands of Swansea University history department, who heads the Copperopolis project, explained: “The work that the University has done, with partners, has raised the profile of the rich industrial heritage of the Lower Swansea Valley. We’ve shown just how important the copper industry has been to the city of Swansea and its story.
We want to spend even more time working with communities, charities, schools, colleges and businesses. The aim is for us to understand community needs better, so we can contribute to social benefit and economic regeneration in the region.”
Professor Louise Miskell of Swansea’s History Department said: “Research led by the History Department has revealed that ‘Swansea Copper’ had a global reputation in the 19th Century. It’s a key part of the identity of the city and something we want all current residents, young and old, to know about and be proud of.’
The film about the Copperopolis project was one of a series shown at an online event run by Universities Wales, which represents universities across the country.
The event was held to launch a new Civic Mission framework to help universities build upon the ways they work with people, schools and communities. Wales Education Minister, Kirsty Williams MS, gave the keynote speech.
Developed by Wales’ Civic Mission Network, the framework will support universities in delivering significant economic and social benefits by connecting more closely with communities across Wales and further afield.
Lynnette Thomas, Chair of the Civic Mission Network, said: “Universities in Wales have long been rooted in their communities, with a proud history of working with people, public services and business.
In the Civic Mission Framework, universities have an effective tool that will enable them to continue and build on this work to support our communities in much needed areas to help create a more resilient and equal Wales.”