Simon ButlerÂ reports:Â Â Part of an Isle of Wight Council led scheme to repair and regenerate tired and run down historic buildings and areas has won an award.Â
Winning a Conservation award from the Isle of Wight Society is a recently completed project to regenerate St Thomas’s Churchyard (pictured)Â in Ryde.
Recognising the tired appearance of St Thomas’s churchyard and the social problems including drink and drug use in the grounds, the St Thomas’s Churchyard enhancement scheme was used to visually improve the southern boundary of the area.
This involved accurately replicating the original cast iron railings that were removed during the war and by landscaping the inner area to reveal the churchyard and make it more appealing to passers-by.
Local firm Island Stone Conservation carried out the work at the St Thomas’s Churchyard and the scheme involved council departments including Archaeology, Conservation & Design and Parks working together to ensure the work was completed to the highest quality.
Isle of Wight Council Cabinet member for Environment Tim Hunter-Henderson said “”This project demonstrates the ability of the Council to attract funding from organisations such as The Heritage Lottery Fund to the Island to revitalise a tired public area using traditional methods and materials. The work has been carried out to a very high standard and the churchyard is now a pleasant and safe environment for people to retreat to from the busy town centre.”
The council, in partnership with the local community and the Heritage Lottery Fund, is currently engaged in an ongoing project called the Ryde Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme. It is due to be completed in 2010 and will involve the refurbishment of several buildings in the centre of the town.
Isle of Wight Council’s Townscape Heritage Initiative Officer Lee Byrne, who is leading the project, will collect the IW Society Conservation Award at a ceremony in Newport on 3rd April. It will be held at the Quay Arts Centre.
IWC Media Simon Butler:Â Isle of Wight Community News @Island Pulse.
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