Once again, I have to apologise to long suffering and loyal Supporters of Cyfeillion Cadw Tremadog for having failed to produce a newsletter since January 1998! Subscriptions I send out reminders for subscriptions after every third issue of the newsletter.
However, Cyfeillion Cadw Tremadog relies largely on subscriptions and donations for its income. Some generous Supporters
send a subscription annually, even when I have not written the Newsletter. The trust is most grateful to those people.
It is once again time for the AGM. As ever, this will be held as a public meeting, to give residents, Supporters, and prospective partners a chance to meet and discuss. It will be held at the Memorial Hall in Tremadog at 7.00 p.m. on Monday, February 22nd.
Saint Mary's Church - Update
The Church is still on the market. lt has recently been damaged again. This time, the vandals broke the iron bates, levered
off sections of the Coadestone gateway, and forced entry through the front doors. The Estate Agents have fixed padlocks to
secure the doors. The hole in the roof of the south nave, and the blocked gutters remain.
The Representative Body of the Church in Wales is charged with selling or letting the building, and responsible for its maintenance until its disposal.
Prospective purchasers withdraw
During the summer of 1998, the prospective purchasers of Saint Mary's Church, Mr and Mrs Eagle from Solihull, withdrew
their offer to the Representative Body to buy the church. Unsurprisingly, they were not ready to commission the detailed
specialist work required by Cadw and the local Planning Authority (Gwynedd, Dwyfor area) without some certainty that they would receive Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for their proposed use.
In order for anybody to obtain the necessary consents, the end-use of the building has to be decided and the details of any alterations proposed have to be approved by the Planning Authority and Cadw. This is in order to protect the building and the gateway from a loss of the character that make them worthy of listing. The Heritage Lottery will not accept any application from a community group to purchase and repair a building, until the building has |"failed'' on the open market. Once the Lottery have accepted an application, they take at least six months to process it. sometimes much longer. The preparation of the detailed work for Consents, cost estimates and Lottery application will also take some months.
The End User
The initial purchase price (£ 15,000 to £20,000) is far less of a problem than the likely costs of repair and conversion. Taken together with fees and VAT, these will amount to about £200,000 £ 250,000. If the trust is to persuade the Heritage Lottery and other funders to contribute to the project, the end-use must be shown to be economically viable.
When the trust tried to make its first conditional offer to the Representative Body in 1997, it had no end user in mind. Shortly after that, the trust entered negotiations with a possible end-user, who proposed forming an art gallery and history centre in the building. The RB had by then accepted Mr and Mrs Eagle's offer. By the time the Eagles withdrew, the person proposing a gallery had gone elsewhere.
During 1998, CCT has found another potential end-user. This is a voluntary group, The Well Projects. They operate currently from village halls in Pen y Groes and Pentrefelin. For some time, they have been seeking their own premises. Having started a feasibility
study on another building in the region, only to have that sold while the study was underway, they are anxious to form an agreement with the trust to commit themselves as tenants.
Trust makes Offer to RB
The trust has recently therefore made a conditional offer to purchase the building from the Representative Body, asking them to take the building off the market for 12-18 months to permit the necessary preparatory work and allow time for the Lottery to consider the application.
So far, the Representative Body has rejected the idea of allowing CCT to take an option on the building for a certain period of time. They also decline a conditional offer of purchase. They say that they cannot tie their hands in this way, as the Estate Agents report continued interest in the building. However, this interest has only once turned into an offer and that was withdrawn when the buyers realised the sums of money "at risk'' in preparing applications for the Planning and Listed Building Consents.
The trust, therefore, is working to persuade the Representative Body to accept its offer, conditional chiefly on obtaining consents and grants.
This has not been forgotten! The Regeneration through Heritage Initiative of Business in the Community has offered support in pushing this forward with the County, who alone have the powers to break the deadlock. We await the arrival in post of the new County Conservation Officer (after 9 months without). Watch this space!