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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 20:34 GMT 21:34 UK
Historic sites compete for cash
Prichard Jones Institute
The Prichard Jones Institute is one of three buildings up for restoration
Three historic Welsh buildings are competing to be restored to their former glory in the Welsh heat of the BBC's Restoration Village TV show.

Viewers must choose between slate workshops and a community institute in north Wales and a Carmarthenshire farm, which dates back to the 14th Century.

The winner of the public vote in the UK final in September will receive 1.9m of lottery funding.

It is hoped the restoration will act as a catalyst for village regeneration.

The prize fund will also allow for a series of smaller planning grants of up to 50,000 for the seven projects shortlisted for the final.

Pen yr Orsedd
Backers say Pen yr Orsedd will be used use as a training facility

The Pritchard-Jones Institute at Newborough on Anglesey was once the largest philanthropic buildings on the island.

It was built by one of the village's most famous sons, Sir John Pritchard, to serve the local community as a library, reading room and public hall.

While the 100-year-old building is still in use, its backers say it is in urgent need of updating.

Campaign co-ordinator Gwyn Jones said if successful, the institute could be used as a concert hall, wedding and conference venue and could be used by the whole community.

"It needs to be brought back to its former glory but, if it isn't, then within two years, we could lose the building entirely," said Mr Jones.

Supporters of the Pen yr Orsedd workshops in Nantlle say slate quarrying is as integral to the history of north Wales as coal mining is to south Wales.

Backers want the buildings returned to use as a training and workshop facility.

"This will not be a museum but a base which will employ people, and where they can learn traditional and modern skills," said campaign secretary Dr David Gwyn.

Pembrey Court Farm
Pembrey Court Farm was once visited by Oliver Cromwell

Thought to have been set up as early as 1361, Pembrey Court Farm at Pembrey was a grand Tudor mansion house once visited by Oliver Cromwell.

Campaign leader Dominic Conwy said the building, now almost completely overgrown since its last occupiers abandoned it in the 1970s, will cost 1.5m to save.

"It is a very rare building for the county and for Wales it is almost unique," said Mr Conwy.

"Pembrey's architecture is magnificent," said Mr Conwy. "You are talking about a Tudor house with all its original features, with mullioned windows and great chimneys."

Listen to the case for the Anglesey institute

The argument to restore the Pembrey farm

The case for the slate workshops

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