A £17.7 million award for Haverfordwest helps Pembrokeshire to level up
In March 2021, a team of three Craigmyle Consultants was appointed by Pembrokeshire County Council to work with them and other partners in developing a major bid application within Round 1 of the UK Government’s new Levelling Up Fund. The bid focused on the economic regeneration of the historic county town of Haverfordwest via imaginative investment in its heritage and cultural assets.
We were thrilled to learn this week in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s autumn Budget announcement that this application has been completely successful in all its aspects, and that an award of £17.7m has been made to Pembrokeshire County Council in support of this worthy project. This grant represents the second largest Levelling Up Fund award made within Wales.
The £17.7m provided towards the regeneration of Haverfordwest will support ongoing improvement work at the town centre site of Haverfordwest’s 13th century castle, which has fallen into disuse and increasing dilapidation. The investment will fund the creation of a vibrant outdoor performance space, the renovation of the Victorian gaol within the castle walls in preparation for it housing a flagship visitor attraction, and the creation of a lovely castle walls perimeter walk with associated green infrastructure enhancements.
Additionally, the funding also supports the enhancement of the town centre through the creation of an architecturally stunning ‘signature bridge’ over the River Cleddau, linking key arrival points into the town to a vibrant quayside cultural quarter area, and creating much improved access from the town centre up to the castle’s visitor attractions.
The scheme sits within the Council’s wider regeneration strategy for Pembrokeshire. Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development, responded to the fantastic news of the award saying: “My thanks go to all those involved in putting together the formal bids. It’s a great example this, of working together, irrespective of political boundaries, for the benefit of Pembrokeshire… This is a really significant milestone on our regeneration journey.”
Dr Steven Jones, Director of Community Resources at Pembrokeshire County Council added: “The core investment in local landmarks and facilities contributes significantly to the place making, economic development, regeneration and transformation of Pembrokeshire. New town centre facilities are fundamental to increasing footfall in Pembrokeshire towns and promoting community confidence, new growth and prosperity in a post-Covid environment.”
Craigmyle consultant, Dr Joel Burden, said “Our dedicated team of Alison Giles, Siân Newton and I couldn’t be more delighted to hear this wonderful news from the UK Government. The bid was written on a very tight timetable, and being a Round 1 application, there was no existing template for success for us to follow. Drawing on Craigmyle’s long experience in fundraising and working closely with a fantastic set of expert partners at the Council and within the other project consultancy teams, we were able to craft a strong bid for a really worthwhile project. It is gratifying to see this great team effort bear fruit with an award that is going to be transformational for Haverfordwest. We are now looking forward to seeing the project develop on the ground over the next few years.”
Picture credit: © Wici Rhuthun 1