Official projects to mark 250 years since the birth of Robert Owen will include a permanent sculpture, virtual reality trail and revamped displays at the Robert Owen Museum.

The Welsh Government is providing funding of £55,000 to support this work which also includes a local sculpture competition for young people.

The permanent sculpture will be commissioned and created by a professional artist to be erected in Newtown and the virtual reality trail will tell Robert Owen’s story.

The Robert Owen Museum will have refreshed displays providing a wide-ranging account of his life, and an outreach programme for schools with a dedicated outreach officer to deliver the programme.

Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropist and social reformer Robert Owen was born in Newtown on May 14, 1771.

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: "Owen’s ideas about principled manufacturing, youth education and early child care, and the importance of community resonate with us two and a half centuries later.

"However, from the prism of a 21st Century position, it is important that people are provided with a rounded opportunity to understand his history with the slave trade – he is a persuasive example of how even progressive thinkers may be blinkered by the norms of their era.

"Given the extensive audit of statues, street and building names commissioned by the First Minister, it’s important that when we look at new commemorations and historical projects in Wales that they properly reflect all parts of a person’s history no matter how difficult.

"Robert Owen’s opposition to emancipation and the use of goods from American plantations, shows that despite the successes in his history, his time was not without controversy.

"Our work in the Government, does not seek to rewrite history, but to ensure it is properly reflected. To show individuals as they were, the good with the bad."

Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council has also been exploring ways to remember his life.

They plan to light up the statue and memorial for up to two weeks, and install a large birthday sign and information sign in the memorial garden.

The Co-operative Movement will produce a "worldwide" video which will include schoolchildren from Newtown talking to First Minister Mark Drakeford, and Newtown Mayor Cllr David Selby introducing Newtown and Robert Owen's birthplace.