Landmark buildings receive share of £5m funding
Dale Spridgeon Local Democracy Reporter
An “exciting” funding scheme is helping to breathe new life into a town’s disused, historic buildings.
Caernarfon is benefiting from a share of a new £5 million fund designed to restore some of the town’s at risk properties.
Galeri Caernarfon Cyf has announced it has been awarded revenue funding to become a Heritage Development Trust, after being awarded cash by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and charity the Architectural Heritage Fund.
The funds will help Galeri Caernarfon Cyf with its long standing work helping to restore old buildings in the town, to be turned into range of community spaces.
It was one of 12 UK wide social enterprises and charities being helped to transform their high street buildings.
Since Galeri Caernarfon Cyf was established in 1992 (under the name Cwmni Tref Caernarfon) more than 20 properties within the walled town boundaries have been bought and renovated.
The properties are used from everything from shops, offices, salons, cafes, restaurants, who collectively employ over 200 members of staff, as well as residential properties housing over 40 individuals.
The Galeri will receive a package of funding to help scale up its operations to acquire and redevelop a pipeline of local historic buildings.
It can also apply for grants to support early project development, and will be given guidance from consultants and mentors to develop its skills and knowledge alongside peer-to-peer support to expand their reach and influence.
Steffan Thomas, Galeri Caernarfon Cyf’s Chief Executive described the scheme as an “exciting project” and his organisation was “very much looking forward to being part of it.”
He said it would mean over three years, that Caernarfon, which falls is in a conservation area, would receive around £210,000 towards building restoration projects.
The money would allow research into feasibility studies, pay for surveys, structural reports and tap into resources and knowledge, helping to restore even more of Caernarfon’s buildings.
He said: “When the company was established over thirty years ago, the main aim was to play a role in regenerating the town.
“Around half of the commercial properties within the walled town were in poor condition, derelict and for sale with very little interest by the private sector to invest in the town.
“This funding will allow us to explore opportunities and in doing so, making a further contribution to the local community, provide an economic boost to the town as well as protecting important buildings of historic interest.”
Arts & Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: “Through its Heritage Development Trusts, the Architectural Heritage Fund has helped to breathe new life into old buildings across England, creating new jobs, homes, and opportunities..”
Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive of the Architectural Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has a lot to offer the future of the UK’s places and people.
“Bringing old buildings back into productive use will protect our country’s rich architectural past while creating important new homes, workplaces and community and cultural venues.”
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