Pounds 3.5m for Historic Townscape Restoration

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 12, 2004 | Go to article overview

Pounds 3.5m for Historic Townscape Restoration


Byline: By DARREN DEVINE Western Mail

Historic buildings in towns across Wales are to be restored to ensure they are well placed to grab a slice of the growing heritage tourism market. Rundown buildings in Bridgend, Holywell, Cefn-mawr, near Wrexham, and Llandovery and Llangadog in Carmarthenshire will be restored with up to pounds 3.5m in Heritage Lottery Fund cash.

All the towns have historic centres with markets, mills and ports that are a living record of their heritage, but need attention to reverse their decline.

Interest in preserving historic buildings has grown since the BBC broadcast the second series of its popular Restoration programme earlier this year.

And experts yesterday said the move was not only crucial for preserving architectural legacies, but also to help the town take advantage of heritage tourism.

The fund hopes by funding restoration work and finding new uses for the buildings, it would ensure their long-term viability and the towns can improve on the 190,000 trips made each year to Welsh landmarks.

The money would go towards funding townscape heritage initiatives in the five regions benefiting from the lottery money.

These concentrate on giving a facelift to rundown areas within towns as well as helping to restore individual buildings.

The manager of Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, Jennifer Stewart, said improving the physical fabric of the towns involved could help to turn round their fortunes.

She said, 'We have several Townscape Heritage Initiatives running in Wales, because we recognise the huge difference it can make to an area as a catalyst for regeneration. These schemes instil an increased sense of confidence in the town, bring old disused buildings back to life and encourage people and businesses to move back in.

'Historic buildings tell the story of a town, they make it individual and unique. People need to recognise the heritage that they have right on their doorstep, preserve it and use it to stop it being lost for future generations.'

In Carmarthenshire around pounds 795, 000 could be used to rejuvenate parts of Stone Street, Llandovery, and the Black Lion and Community Hall in Llangadog. …

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