Learning by Linking – Business Networks in Action

Learning by Linking

Learning by Linking

18 March 2011

Dr Carl Clowes, founder of the Nant Gwrtheyrn Trust, is to talk at a small business event ‘Learning by Linking – Business Networks in Action’ in Aberystwyth on 31st March. 

The Nant Gwrtheyrn Trust, founded in 1978, converted a formerly deserted quarrying village on the coast of Gwynedd into the thriving National Centre for Language and Heritage.  Moving from Manchester to Gwynedd in 1970 to single-handedly run a medical practice in Llanelhearn, Dr Clowes and his wife Dorothi were determined to bring their children up as Welsh speakers.

However, he found a community facing the prospect of closure of the local granite quarry and school, and he felt new employment opportunities were required if it was to survive.  Through gaining the support of businessmen, tutors and friends, he started a Trust in order to purchase the village of Nant Gwrtheyn.

Today,  the secluded Victorian village on the Llyn Peninsula has undergone a £5m renovation, houses a Visitor Centre and Café, conference centre, function room and 4* guest accommodation.  The first courses for Welsh learners were held in 1982 and, to date, some 25,000 people have had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique environment that Nant has to offer. 

Carl Clowes will share his experience of networking during his talk: “Nant Gwrtheyrn - from vision to reality; networking at a national level to empower Wales and her language".

At the event, West Wales businesses will be sharing their experiences of networking and learning.  Local business owners from Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Gwynedd and Carmarthenshire who are network members, will describe how they have learned and benefitted from networking with the other Welsh and Irish businesses involved in the project. 

There will also be an exhibition of the services provided by Welsh Business Support Agencies including: the Federation of Small Businesses; Finance Wales; Chwarae Teg; Flexible Support for Business; Services to Business – Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities and Ceredigion Business Development.

The event is organised by the Sustainable Learning Networks Ireland and Wales (SLNIW), an exciting and innovative INTERREG 4A funded project being undertaken by the School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth University, Wales in partnership with CEDRE (Centre for Enterprise Development and Regional Economy), Waterford Institute of Technology. 

This unique project has created and developed learning business networks in West Wales and South East Ireland, with the primary goal of increasing the competitiveness, creativity and innovation capacities and capabilities of SMEs and micro-enterprises in these regions. 

Admission is free and all are welcome to the event at MedRus Conference Centre, Aberystwyth University on Thursday 31st March, 12.30pm – 5pm.  To reserve your place, please contact Gwern Hywel gwh5@aber.ac.uk or telephone 01970 622506.