Project success leads to extra £1.55m funding boost and national award
A major project to restore Wales’s oldest port town has been given a huge boost after the Heritage Lottery Fund approved a new £1.55 million grant.
Extra funding will allow the Isle of Anglesey County Council to build on the success of its Holyhead Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and continue to transform the town centre.
The initiative’s heritage-led approach to town centre regeneration was recently recognised at the Wales Planning Awards. It was highly commended by the Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru judging panel for its role in securing important economic, social and environmental benefits.
The Holyhead THI has already helped regenerate a number of important historic buildings in the town, including the former Kwik Save on Market Street, the new Post office at 14-16 Stanley Street and Empire Cinema, amongst others. This has led to a significant reduction in the vacancy rate for commercial floor space in the town – dropping from 19% in 2011 to 13% in 2015, with future plans to continue to ensure more properties come into use.
Other work has seen the conservation of the listed Cenotaph and creation of a memorial to Dutch sailors who served in the port during the Second World War.
The £1.55m Lottery grant will be added to £900,000 already committed by the Welsh Government and other funders, to take the total amount to be spent in Holyhead through the THI to more than £2.5 million over the next four years.
Anglesey’s Planning portfolio holder, Councillor Richard Dew, said,
“I’m delighted that we’ve been successful in securing this major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.”
“It will enable us to build on the excellent work already done in the town, as recently recognised at the national town planning awards. The THI has been supported by effective cooperation between the County Council, local property owners, funding partners, architects and building contractors, in particular, which have led to real improvements in the town centre. This new grant funding will ensure more improvements in the future.”
Fresh funding will allow the Holyhead THI to target long term derelict properties within the town centre conservation area for improvements. This will include work on 3, Market Hill and former Crown Restaurant site, which will also complement plans for the old Market Hall building and the enhancement of St Cybi’s Roman Fort and its surroundings.
The County Council will also work with the private sector to create homes and businesses, finding new uses for the historic properties which could create new jobs over the next four years. The next stage of the Holyhead THI will formally launch later in the year.