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Councillors to debate plans to restore I’m A Celeb castle to its former glory

05 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Gwrych Castle. Ognyan Petrov (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Jez Hemming, local democracy reporter

Plans to upgrade this year’s venue for TV Show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here will go before councillors next week.

Gwrych Castle will host the TV reality show, hosted by Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, once again this year after problems locating to their original destination in Australia because of Covid.

While it’s a boost to the area’s economy and profile it is also helping Gwrych Castle Trust accelerate the refurbishment of the Grade 1 listed building and its grounds.

Restoring it to its former glory will be debated next week at Conwy County Borough Council’s planning meeting.

Also among the plans are proposals to retain and extend security fencing to protect the venue while the show is filmed, plus permission to keep temporary roofing installed for last year’s production.

A report to the planning committee said: “Filming at the castle necessitated various temporary works, many of which are included in this application.”

The application is seeking approval for:

  • Retention of the protective temporary roofs over the dining room and the coach house/blacksmith’s shop;
  • Retention/installation of security fencing to ensure the castle and grounds are
    protected;
  • Retention of the new balustrade to the bothy staircase;
  • Re-roofing of the dairy;
  • Installation of new doors to the coach house and blacksmith’s shop;
  • Removal of a small section of modern concrete flooring from the wash house;
  • Provision of a new electrical supply cabinet adjacent to the drive
  • There has been unprecedented support for the works with dozens of neighbours writing in to Conwy county council and backing the scheme.

‘Concerns’ 

However a letter from Llanddulas and Rhyd y Foel community council has raised issues with a number of gates erected around the site which it says it is not aware of planning consent for.

In a letter from town clerk Helen Stewart, it says some of these gates (and some security fencing) block rights of way and the community council has applied for Conwy county council to update its “definitive map” of the access routes.

It also asked any approval for the six gates in question would include provisions for people’s rights of way.

A heritage statement outlined plans to reinstate a full permanent roof over the blacksmith’s and coach house areas at some point.

It added: “For the time being this space provides essential dry storage as well as space to display further items from both the programme and the castle’s history.”

The study also revealed some of the detective work which went into designing the iron balustrade of the bothy staircase.

ITV craftsmen devised a design based on the “stubs of the balusters” (the vertical parts of the balustrade) and enquiries were made to match with those in buildings of a similar age.

The report said Cadw is happy with the designs and evidence showed the finished product was “remarkably accurate”.

The trust has applied for listed building consent to complete the works, some of which is retrospective.

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#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago

So long as
a) It’s not taxpayer funded and
b) Existing public access rights are NOT degraded or reduced IN ANY WAY for any longer than it takes for currently specified work to be completed
c) It doesn’t compromise the prime purpose of the site as a viewable historical artifact

Last edited 1 month ago by #1Chris
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Great location for a film set in the 13 century, any screen writers out there looking for inspiration…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

That is speaking as someone who died twice in the service of Scottish kings, first on Black Rock Sands then hung by the neck in a quarry above Ffestiniog…before being sacked by Polanski whilst I was half naked in the middle of Avon Gam during a take…in November!

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

We’re you SUPPOSED to be half naked during that take? Is it related to why you were sacked?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

There is a story there Chris, I will tell it…Polanski had just lost his wife in tragic circumstances, you may recall Charles Manson. Well this was 1969 and the hairstyle was long but Polanski wanted all the blokes to have their hair as Manson and mine went down my back so to get the gig I had tied mine up. Of course in the process of washing in the river it fell out and a scream from the director saw me hitching home still dressed as a Scottish soldier complete with stage sword in my belt. I lasted 3 weeks… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Correction it was 1971 sorry

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