Three of Anglesey’s most unique heritage sites could face closure if no one shows an interest in taking them over.
The County Council is looking for other organisations to run its heritage sites, which include Wales’ only working windmill and a Victorian prison.
Proposals are again being sought from town and community councils, social enterprises, businesses, trusts and organisations after a similar exercise only attracted one earlier this year.
Proposals are being sought from individuals or organisations with the appropriate resources, expertise and experience needed to run:
• Beaumaris Courthouse
• Beaumaris Goal
• Melin Llynnon and Roundhouses, near Llanddeusant.
Anglesey’s Head of Learning, Delyth Molyneux, explained,
“The County Council is eager to work with partners to investigate new ways of delivering an exciting, engaging visitor experience at all three sites. Our aim is to safeguard the future of these sites, and protect the Island’s culture and heritage.”
“However, given the significant financial pressures faced and the fact that these sites don’t form part of a statutory service, there’s a real possibility that they will have to be mothballed or closed altogether if no one else can be found to run them.”
All of the three seasonal sites are currently managed by the County Council’s Museums and Culture service.
Llynnon is currently closed and both Beaumaris Courthouse and Goal are open on weekends and during the forthcoming half term holiday. It is hoped that renewed interest will ensure that they can reopen for the new season in Easter 2017.
Council Leader, Councillor Ieuan Williams, added,
“We’re really eager to resolve this matter in order to safeguard the future of these important sites; and very much hope to see real interest in running them. It’s hoped that fresh interest will provide the impetus needed to keep them open.
“I would urge any interested parties to get in touch as soon as possible. The Council would, of course, to do its very best to support interested parties in order to ensure a smooth handover as the success of these attractions is very important to us.”
Proposals for running the sites are now being sought with adverts online and in the local press. The closing date for any interested parties to submit their business plans is November 11th 2016.
Interested parties could run a single site or a combination, with the County Council willing to consider various models to manage the facilities for their current use. It will also consider alternative/additional uses whilst protecting and preserving the special character, appearance, architectural and historic features of the Gaol, Courthouse and Llynnon (due to their listed status).
All three sites are currently managed by the County Council’s Museums and Culture service.
In 2015 Anglesey’s Executive agreed to review and consult on the way the Council provides museum and cultural services as it continues to seek significant financial savings.