UK: The South Wales Building Preservation Trust joins Europa Nostra
The South Wales Building Preservation Trust, a registered charity established in 2002 with the aim of saving buildings of architectural and historic interest in South Wales, became a part of Europa Nostra’s network of Member Organisations in October 2015. The Trust concentrates on significant buildings which have no viable economic end use and aims to help bring the structures, whenever possible, back into sustainable economic use, for the benefit of the nation at large.
One of the Trust’s main projects is Navigation Colliery, which was listed by the Victorian Society in its ‘2014 Top Ten Most Endangered Victorian Buildings in England & Wales’ following a national call for nominations. The Victorian Society is the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment in the UK and considers the Navigation Colliery buildings to be “in real risk of being lost if action is not taken in the immediate future”.
Following the decline of the coal mining industry in South Wales, many of the industry’s associated buildings and industrial artefacts have disappeared. This means that sites such as Navigation Colliery are becoming rarer. It is a testament to the quality of the buildings at Navigation Colliery that they have survived up to the present day. However, until the current project began, there had been no major investment in the buildings since the closure of the colliery in 1967. Until recently, a combination of lack of maintenance and general exposure to the elements has put the buildings at significant risk and this has been accelerated by vandalism and fire damage, resulting in the poor condition which the buildings are found in today.
In order to develop the project the Trust helped set up a local trust, Glofa Navigation, to act as guardians of the site whilst a sustainable end use for the buildings is found. An active Friends group has also been created. The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is also assisting by contributing their expertise and guidance, particularly in relation to the site’s complex ground remediation issues, including the management of a Welsh Government grant provided for analysing noxious gas emissions. The next stage of the project is to investigate sustainable end uses by developing the team approach.
“I am very pleased that the South Wales Building Preservation Trust has joined Europa Nostra. This will help the Trust in its role of strengthening the understanding and appreciation of the heritage of South Wales. The region’s buildings have an important role to play in regenerating communities, they also help connect people and give them a greater understanding of our rich human heritage, which is of international significance,” affirmed Nigel Bowen-Morris, Chair of the Trust.
In the UK, Europa Nostra has 40 member and associate organisations, with the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the National Trust for Scotland being founding member organisations. Europa Nostra seeks to strongly engage and further enlarge its network of members, associates, benefactors, partners and supports in the UK and all over Europe. Together we can save and promote our shared cultural heritage. JOIN US
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