Manifesto Signatory

Cardiff University

updated on 07 Dec 2023
4 minutes
 A group of people standing around a table putting pins on a large map, at an ourdoors event in the sunshine

Why we've signed the Manifesto

“We put our communities at the heart of everything we do. It’s what we call our civic mission. We have been directly responding to major societal challenges and undertaking work for public good for well over 130 years. We are not only committed to improving the health, wealth and wellbeing of our communities within the Cardiff Capital Region but take seriously our role to promote environmental sustainability and diversity. 

We have signed up to the manifesto to demonstrate our commitment and celebrate public engagement. We want our communities and partners to know we are a force for public good and that we can make a positive difference by working together on common goals.” 

- Professor Wendy Larner, Vice-Chancellor

Our approach to public engagement

Our commitment to the communities we serve is at the centre of our strategy alongside research, education, innovation and our international impact. 

Public engagement builds on the strong foundations laid by our place-based work in civic mission. We do this through a range of activities focussing on tackling social inequalities, reaching out to young people and excluded communities locally, across Wales and beyond. 

We support those who will benefit from our research, knowledge and teaching. We work with members of the public to shape, carry out, and share our work nationally and globally with the goal of opening public dialogue, generating mutual benefit and creating meaningful change. 

Our public engagement hallmarks

Our public engagement programme is wide and varied, cross-cutting many disciplines. We have several long-running, award-winning projects that directly engage with and are co-created alongside our local communities.

Community Gateway

Our Community Gateway project, is a long-term partnership with Grangetown residents and businesses in the south of Cardiff, creating opportunities to facilitate and co-produce a range of mutually beneficial projects.

We helped the community raise over £2million to build a high quality, accessible resident-led space in the heart of Grangetown. Grange Pavilion provides affordable space for hire, a community-led café, coworking spaces, and a biodiverse garden and green space for play, health and wellbeing and seasonal growing.

We have helped bring over 85 projects and community-led ideas to life, including the award-winning Grangetown Youth Forum, Grangetown Business Forum, Grangetown Safe Play Lanes, Community Garden and a Citizen Science programme.

We will continue to work with the community to identify new, sustained and impactful opportunities for long term anchor partnerships, locally and internationally, with government, industry, and communities. 

CAER Heritage Project

Developed alongside community partners, local schools and residents, the CAER Heritage explores the history and archaeology of Caerau Hillfort in the west suburbs of Cardiff. 

The guiding principle of this project has been to actively involve Ely and Caerau community and heritage professionals in the co-production of archaeological and historical research to create engaging educational opportunities. This project breaks down barriers to educational progression, develop skills and challenges negative perceptions of these communities. 

CAER activities are wide-ranging and include geophysics, excavations, artefact analyses, exhibitions, art installations, films, heritage trails, performances, accredited courses and experimental archaeology.

Our public engagement talking point 

Training and professional development is an important and valued part of our public engagement. We work with a diverse range of researchers, staff and students to boost capacity in public engagement approaches, enabling effective monitoring to evidence impact. Engaging underserved communities with research to co-design activities increases the relevance, reach and impact of our work. 

The availability of small-scale proof-of-concept funds has empowered our public engagement with research communities (particularly early career researchers) to explore new approaches to engage with varied public groups beyond academia. Listening, interacting and working together with a variety of public groups in innovative ways has supported us to build trust, sustain engagement and deliver transformative impact.

Our varied programme of engagement projects and public events involve our academic schools, professional services colleagues as well as our student body. Much of our work is local but we share the impact and raise the visibility of our research nationally and internationally to include supporting public programmes at the Urdd and National Eisteddfod, Hay Festival, ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, and AHRC Being Human Festival, to name but a few.

Our public engagement people 

We value staff, students, volunteers and community partners who are contributing to our objectives in this important area of work. We firmly embed public engagement in our research and teaching so that we all benefit. 

Our civic mission and public engagement work connects our internal community to share ideas, knowledge and best practice. Our sharing best practice events provide a platform to recognise the people, projects and processes that develop, deliver and evaluate quality public engagement and our impact on the diverse communities we serve.

We aim to embed public engagement across all aspects of university life. We want our staff and students to have access to the highest quality support and to be able to utilise that support to integrate public and community engagement into their work.


Ben Lloyd, Public Affairs & Civic Mission Manager

Carl Smith, Public Engagement Manager