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Last Updated: Monday, 10 July 2006, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Restoration hopes for Welsh sites
Pen Yr Orsedd workshops, Nantlle valley
The workshops are part of a quarry site
A row of quarry buildings, a Tudor manor house and a community institute are going head-to-head in a TV contest.

The buildings feature in the BBC programme Restoration, which this year will focus on the role the buildings play in their communities.

The Prichard Jones Institute in Newborough, Anglesey and the Pen Yr Orsedd workshops in the Nantlle valley, Gwynedd, are two of the contenders.

The third is the 16th Century Pembrey Court Farm near Llanelli.

One of the three shortlisted buildings will go on to compete with six other buildings from around the UK for the money they need to carry out the necessary works.

Prichard Jones Institute, Newborough
The institute was built in 1905
The Prichard Jones Institute was built in 1905 by Newborough son Sir John Prichard Jones and was given to the local people as a community resource.

It included a library, reading room and public hall among its amenities but is now run down.

If restored, the centre would be used a meeting place for the organisations ranging from the local council and the Forestry Commission to the local Women's Institute, and to provide a venue for weddings.

Dr Gwyn Jones, chair of the board of directors at the institute, said: "It's a wonderful neo-Tudor building in the middle of the village.

"It's 101 years old and it's showing signs of wanting money to be spent on it to bring it back to its former glory. We need between 750,000 and 800,000."

Pembrey Court Farm, Carmarthenshire
Oliver Cromwell was a visitor to Pembrey Court

Dominic Conway, project chairman for the Pembrey Court Farm bid, said the Tudor house was unique in Carmarthenshire and could provide a great resource for education, culture and tourism alike.

The building, once visited by Oliver Cromwell, is little more than a shell now, and the campaign for its restoration is seeking 1.5m to bring it back to its former glory.

Mr Conway told BBC Wales: "It's full of fantastic features. It's vernacular, in other words it hasn't been rebuilt in later centuries.

"We're looking at mixed use [for the house] but basically a cultural centre - for learning Welsh, a venue for historical societies, education.

"All primary schoolchildren learn about the Tudors. This is a Tudor house which they could come and visit."

Traditional skills

Those hoping to restore the Pen yr Orsedd workshops in a slate quarry in Nantlle want to see it used as an engineering conservation school.

Dr David Gwyn, secretary of the organising committee for the bid, said: "The buildings are still in relatively good condition but they need to be refitted fairly quickly.

"The plans are to include a variety of workshop facilities within the old buildings that will marry traditional skills like blacksmithing or joinery with newer skills like computer-aided design and the idea is they can create, build or replicate historic machinery.

"There will be nothing like it in Wales. It will keep alive the old Welsh traditions of hard work, craft skill, and manual labour."


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