Pontmorlais Heritage Quarter

Pontmorlais Heritage Quarter.

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To apply for a Townscape Heritage Iniative Grant for Pontmorlais Heritage Quarter, please download and complete the Expression of Interest Form.

There are more documents to assist you with the application in Resources page. For more information on the THI please contact Russell Shurmer on (01685) 724914 or Russell.Shurmer@merthyr.gov.uk

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given the final go-ahead for £1.58m towards the buildings in the Pontmorlais quarter of the town.

The HLF said the money would help "revitalise this once thriving town".

The Merthyr project involves 15 buildings, including the Morlais Castle Inn, as part of the local council's townscape heritage initiative.Jennifer Stewart, head of HLF in Wales, said: "The money will help fund essential improvements and repairs to encourage local businesses and visitors back into the area."

Marlies Pires, owner of the Imperial Hotel and the Morlais Castle Inn - one of the buildings hoping to benefit from funding - said: "Pontmorlais is in a desperate need of regeneration so we are over the moon with the news that this scheme is set to go ahead.

"In the current economic climate it would be impossible for us and other small businesses to carry out the work needed.

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Background

Pontmorlais, lying within Merthyr Tydfil's town centre has a rich built heritage which bears testimony to the town's past industrial wealth. However several of the buildings in Pontmorlais High Street has suffered from neglect and unsympathetic alterations.

The High Street area created between 1770 and 1820 has many grand historical buildings which reflect the town's past prosperity such as the old Town Hall and the now disused YMCA building. This investment from HLF will go towards reversing the decline of these buildings and finding new uses for them which will benefit local people, with the aim of attracting new investors and visitors.

One of the buildings within the conservation area is Soar Chapel which was awarded a grant of £527,000 in 2009 to adapt the Grade II listed building into a venue for performing arts and community activities. Lis McLean, Canolfan a Menter Gymraeg Merthyr Tudful said: "This is great news for Merthyr Tudful!  One of our hopes during the development of the Soar Project was that it would kick start the regeneration of the Pontmorlais area.  This is an area that is in dire need of investment.   The THI will enable other organisations, businesses and residents to improve their buildings in a cohesive and sympathetic way.  The initiative will enhance the Soar Project and could potentially result in its future expansion."

Merthyr Tydfil Council's proposed links with Merthyr Tydfil College will also provide conservation skills training to students, local businesses and residents to improve the local base of skills in the area and ensure long term upkeep of the built heritage.

For more information on the Heritage Lottery Fund's Townscape Heritage Initiative please visit their website