Lottery support for £9m Wales broadcast archive project

The National Library of Wales Image copyright Ian Capper/Geograph

A £9m project to create a national broadcast archive has been awarded a £5m lottery grant.

The National Library of Wales and BBC Wales will develop plans for public access to the broadcaster's archive.

This will be at four digital hubs in Aberystwyth, Wrexham, Carmarthen and Cardiff.

National Library of Wales president Rhodri Glyn Thomas said it would "safeguard this vital source of our nation's heritage".

BBC Wales' archive has about 160,000 recordings which date back to the 1930s and includes reports on World War Two, the Aberfan disaster and the miners' strike.

About 1,000 programme clips will also be made accessible online for people to watch.

How old?

  • The oldest radio material held in the BBC Wales archive include assorted tapes dating back to the late 1930s and would have been recorded for the BBC Home Service
  • The oldest television material held dates from the 1950s and includes Welsh language news and current affairs programmes "Sul i Sul" and "Cefndir"
  • There are also reels of assorted football and rugby fixtures broadcast in English from the same period

Heritage Lottery Fund has provided money so the library and BBC Wales can produce a detailed business plan by March to be considered for a £4.9m grant.

It comes as BBC Wales prepares to move to a new building in Cardiff city centre in 2019 - as part of this, it is digitising radio and TV archive material.

The National Library is also working with the corporation to store original recordings at its Aberystwyth building.

Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Wales, said the "unprecedented partnership" would make "these extraordinary resources available to the entire Welsh public".

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