The Blaenavon World Heritage Site has received a share of an £8.6m National Lottery investment to help preserve the UK’s industrial heritage.
Torfaen Council has been awarded £1.2m for a project to help regenerate the town centre and promote Blaenavon as a World Heritage Site and tourist destination.
The funding will allow the Council to deliver a Townscape Heritage Programme which will help local property owners based on Broad Street to make heritage-based improvements to their properties, improving the look and feel of the town centre to make it a more attractive place to visit and do business.
It will also fund projects designed to engage with the local community, creating opportunities for school children to celebrate their town’s heritage, while delivering projects to engage the local community and volunteers on a wide range of activities that deliver skills and training.
Torfaen County Borough Council will lead programme delivery in partnership with Blaenavon Town Council, property owners, the local community and other heritage stakeholders. Blaenavon Town Council is also contributing £30k towards the project.
Councillor Alan Jones, Executive Member for Business, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for this funding which will allow us to deliver a Townscape Heritage Programme within our World Heritage town.
“Continued investment in the town is essential if we are to make it attractive to tourists. Tackling the poor condition of properties on Broad Street will help to support our existing businesses and hopefully attract new businesses to the town, encouraging more local people and visitors to visit and support it.
“This funding will also help us to develop community projects that explain the significance of the town within the wider World Heritage Site.
“The small town of Blaenavon and its people played such an important part in the industrial revolution and the development of the modern world, and this funding will ensure that we can continue to keep their memory and the town’s heritage alive for future generations and have a lasting impact on the town.”
Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said:
“British industry, manufacturing and engineering changed the world. Places like the Mining Institute, and communities such as those in Nottinghamshire and Blaenavon, were pivotal in this important moment in our history. That’s why we’re investing £8.6m to help local communities reconnect with their heritage and to explore and celebrate our industrial past.
“We believe that Britain’s powerful industrial heritage has a role to play in encouraging future generations to pick STEM careers. These four projects will not only inspire new talent, but also provide much-needed training and educational opportunities.”