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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 16:29 GMT
Restoration workhouse is saved
Llanfyllin Workhouse
The workhouse may be converted into housing
An old workhouse which was a Welsh entry in the BBC Restoration series has been bought by the trust which has fought to save it for three years.

The Architectural Heritage Fund has agreed to loan Y Dolydd Building Preservation Trust 300,000 to buy Llanfyllin Workhouse in Powys.

Both the workhouse and Cardigan Castle lost out to the Newbridge Memo, this year's Welsh Restoration winner.

A brainstorming session will now take place to decide its future use.

One suggestion is that it could be developed for housing. Trustee John Hainsworth said other ideas included converting the ruined building into a training centre for traditional crafts such as sculpture and forging.

The Grade 2-listed Llanfyllin Workhouse was built in 1838 and the cost of its restoration is put at 3.5m.

We have a meeting next week to discuss what the building should be used for
John Hainsworth

"We bought the workhouse for 250,000, but we've had to pay a VAT bill of 43,750," said Mr Hainsworth.

"We are VAT registered and we will get that back, but not until January.

"We have a meeting next week to discuss what the building should be used for and there are a variety of suggestions including converting it into housing.

"We are in discussion with a housing association and we're talking to developers, but there's a number of suggestions and we've not decided yet what it should be used for.

"We have decided is that it should pay its way. It may be that it's developed using grants or by an arrangement with a commercial partner."

Newbridge Institute and Memo
Newbridge Memo beat the other Welsh contenders

Y Dolydd Preservation Trust say the workhouse is typical of the institutions built in the early 1800s, although architecturally it is unusually distinguished and few workhouses had survived in such an original condition.

The BBC's Restoration programme described it as one of the most complete examples of its kind.

A total of 54 workhouses were built in Wales, but most have been demolished or altered.

The trust will meet in Llanfyllin on 26 November for its brainstorming session to decide the workhouse's future.

The workhouse and Cardigan Castle lost out to the Newbridge Institute and Memorial Hall in Restoration in voting in July. But the Welsh winner was beaten by Birmingham Grammar School in the series' final.

In all, 21 buildings across the UK had been chosen to compete for the second Restoration title.


SEE ALSO:
Viewers vote for Restoration
20 Jul 04 |  Wales
Charles backs Restoration
13 Sep 03 |  Entertainment
Viewers vote to save heritage
18 Jul 03 |  Entertainment


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