£2.6m Heritage Lottery investment for extensive regeneration projects in Dolgellau and Holyhead
A combined investment of £2.6m has been earmarked for Townscape Heritage projects in Dolgellau, Gwynedd (£1.1m) and Holyhead, Anglesey (£1.5m) enabling the conservation of key historic buildings within the towns.
Building on extensive regeneration projects that have already been undertaken in both towns, the Townscape Heritage grants will ensure that prominent, historic buildings are repaired and restored. Training opportunities for local people will be created as part of the conservation works, providing opportunities to learn about local heritage and gain new skills.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, said: “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to give this initial support to not one, but two towns in north Wales. We’ve supported regeneration projects in both towns in the past and have seen wonderful developments in recent years. We want to help provide an economic boost to both Dolgellau and Holyhead, helping them to work with small businesses and communities to protect and bring alive their distinctive heritage and buildings – these buildings make up the very fabric of history.”
Dolgellau - Architectural Gem
Considered an international architectural gem for its unique medieval street layout, its buildings and its location at the foot of Cader Idris, Dolgellau is steeped in history. With over 180 listed buildings in the town, ensuring the future of this built heritage has been a priority for Snowdonia National Park for many years, as part of long term regeneration plans.
Welcoming the grant award, Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of Snowdonia National Park Authority, said: “There is history in every crack and crevice of this town and it is vitally important that we protect that history whilst helping the town thrive. We’ve worked with HLF on improvements in the town for a number of years already and look forward to building on progress already made in Dolgellau.”
Three squares within the town have already been identified as focus points for the project: Queen’s Square, Eldon Square and Smithfield Square, where conservation works will include bringing empty, upper floor spaces back into use, as well as restoration works to shop fronts, balconies and windows.
Holyhead - Heritage Gateway
Significant work has already been undertaken to transform Holyhead as part of a regeneration masterplan by Isle of Anglesey Council. This HLF grant will support existing plans by conserving decaying historic buildings in the town and, in some cases, re-instating important architectural details that have been lost using a collection of historic photographs from the 1940s and 1950s.
Local Assembly Member, Rhun ap Iorwerth AM, said: “Holyhead has a rich heritage and is a major tourism gateway to not only Anglesey but the whole of Wales and it is vital that we protect it. I’m glad to see so much effort is being made to safeguard the heritage of the town through this project which will also offer local groups training opportunities to develop traditional skills.”
Notes to editors
Townscape Heritage Grants in Wales:
- Holyhead Townscape Transformation, Isle of Anglesey Council - earmarked grant of £1,589,000 including £39,000 development funding.
- Dolgellau Townscape Heritage, Snowdonia National Park Authority – earmarked grant of £1,026,400 including £31,400 development funding.
About Townscape Heritage
The Townscape Heritage (TH) programme encourage partnerships of local organisations to carry out repairs and other works to a number of historic buildings, structures or spaces. Grants are available from £100,000 up to £2m. The next application deadline is 1 September 2015 with decisions being made in January 2016.
Dolgellau project plans:
- The proposed scheme, which shares the same boundary as the existing THI, would be concentrated tightly around the historic and commercial centre with the priority projects being wholly or partly commercial and clustered around the three principal squares - Queen's, Eldon and Smithfield.
- It is focused on the conservation of historic buildings and their setting; developing access to and understanding of the heritage; and increasing community and visitor engagement with the historic built environment.
- Projects will bring vacant upper floor spaces back into use. Re-instatement of key architectural features such as shop fronts, balconies and windows is also proposed.
- A range of community and volunteer based activities are proposed to encourage greater engagement with the heritage, including oral history, building history studies, schools projects and development of history/buildings trails using app technology.
- Conservation skills training workshops for local contractors and agents and maintenance training for property owners will be held.
- A full time TH Project Officer will be appointed at the delivery stage for five years with administrative support provided by the SNPA.
Holyhead project plans:
- Repair derelict and neglected priority buildings identified through the buildings at risk survey and the Council's own work, focussed on those buildings most in need of investment to their external and structural fabric.
- Reinstate lost architectural details, utilising the “Burrows” collection, a resource of late 1940’s and early 1950’s historic photographs.
- Support the sustainable reuse of properties for homes and business purposes, ensuring they meet energy efficiency and occupation standards but respond to conservation needs of the building.
- Undertake the redevelopment of a gap site at the entry to the town and provide additional support for proposed public realm works to the St Cybi’s environs and Market Street.
- Deliver a skills package for local people, property owners, local agents, building contractors and relevant third party bodies.
- Deliver a programme of activities aiming to reconnect local people and inform visitors of the Town's heritage.