A WELSH language and cultural heritage centre in Gwynedd has won a top award in Brussels.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford congratulated the Welsh EU-funded Nant Gwrtheyrn project which was honoured at the RegioStars awards.

Nant Gwrtheyrn won in the Investing in Culture Heritage category beating competitors from across Europe to win the 2018 RegioStars award.

The project has helped to transform a former quarry village on the Llyn Peninsula into a thriving education centre and visitor attraction.

Around 45,000 visitors a year visit the area and 600 people attend residential Welsh language courses at the centre, which helps boost the local economy.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: "Nant Gwtheyrn is an inspirational example of how EU funds have a positive impact on a local area, attracting visitors and creating jobs to drive forward the economy."

Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan added:

“Nant Gwrtheyrn is an icon of Welsh culture and has helped thousands of people to learn Welsh.

“I am delighted its contribution to the local community and to Wales as a whole has been recognised at a European level. Llongyfarchiadau!”

Representing Nant Gwrtheyrn at the award ceremony was Jim O’Rourke, the project development manager and Catrin Roberts from WEFO, the project officers that supported Nant Gwrtheyrn during the application process.

Jim O’Rourke said: "It was an honour to represent Nant Gwrtheyrn, and to accept the RegioStars award.

The panel of judges praised the way Nant Gwrtheyrn has developed a viable centre using our linguistic heritage to provide Welsh for Adults courses, and opportunities for visitors to enjoy the magical setting, and to learn about our language and heritage."

The centre has created 33 jobs and seen over 50,000 visitors annually in a deprived rural area. It was a special example of how the European Union's contribution has contributed to economic, cultural and community benefits in West Wales.