SUPPORTERS of an iconic Mid Wales landmark are launching a fundraising appeal to pay for ‘essential’ repairs to it.
The Friends of Wyeside Arts Centre in Builth Wells have initiated the scheme, called ‘sponsor a stone’ in a bid to raise money for the exterior repairs to the art Centre’s beautiful Grade II listed building.
The friends’ group has already match-funded an approximate £14,000 grant from Powys County Council so that the work could get under way, while the campaign is a five year programme that supporters hope will attract the backing of the local community and art fans from all over – with anyone interested in the scheme able to buy a full stone or restore one.
While the average price for replacing a full stone costs £500, many of the trefoil stones are being redressed instead to remove paint and restore the former quality and character of the stone at a cost of around £50 each.
In addition to the replacement of whole stones and the redressing work on others, specialist task are also being carried out and some of these repairs cost as little as £10.
The friends are hoping that people in Powys will make a donation so that the vital work can continue until the building is fully restored to its original glory.
Barbara Stow, Chair of the trustees of Wyeside said: “As long-term custodians of Wyeside Arts Centre, the Board is very grateful for the work of the Friends and for the generosity of everyone who has contributed to helping us preserve the building for future generations.”
Builth County Councillor Avril York, who is also vise chair of Wyeside, said: “This work is vital for long term preservation of a much loved and iconic building that offers a wonderful array of arts facilities to the residents of Powys.
The fact that Wyeside has survived, and indeed flourished, over the many years of its existence is a testament to the foresight, hard work and commitment of local people.”
Builth based Architects Jonathan Lees, who is managing the project, added: “Without this important restoration and conservation work to preserve the details and decorations on the building the original decorative fabric of the structure will soon be lost due to severe weathering and the damage caused by acid rain and traffic pollution.
This careful and considerate conservation work will help to preserve the integrity and nature of this highly cherished building for generations to come.”
Local building contractors FE James are the appointed contractor for the construction works, while Garth based Stone Mason Chris James is also on –board.
Stones, which have to be replaced, will be carefully matched to the original type and colour of the existing ones.
Local Artist Amanda Skipsey, the family of the late Winifred Francis, and Architect Mr. Lees have all kindly supported the scheme by making their own artwork and drawings available free of charge for an attractive range of cards.
To find out how you can donate, collect a form from Wyeside on your next visit or contact the Centre on 01982 553668, email firstname.lastname@example.org or download a form from website www.wyeside.co.uk