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Monday, April 26, 1999 Published at 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK


Prince Charles: Save our industrial heritage

Prince Charles: Likened inner city buildings to palaces

The Prince of Wales says town planners should preserve derelict industrial buildings of "historic, architectural merit", rather than erect new business parks or those constructed from breeze blocks.

Prince Charles: "The challenge now is to create new and exciting communities"
Prince Charles was speaking at a Making Heritage Industrial Buildings Work conference in Swindon.

It was held at the restored former Great Western Railway works, which now houses a shopping centre. He said: "I am delighted it is possible to hold today's conference at this important collection of historic buildings."

Calling for a "more humane approach to the way we plan and build in the 21st century", he likened inner-city industrial buildings to palaces and cathedrals, demolished and "mercilessly swept away in a fashionable frenzy".

Citing Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle, he told the 300 delegates that people are at last "beginning to recognise the beauty and value of our heritage from the industrial age".

He said he has so far had little success in persuading policy makers in seeing the enormous value to be gained from converting old buildings.

The international conference was organised by Regeneration Through Heritage, a Business in the Community Initiative of which the prince is president.

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