GOVERNMENT cash will help breath new life into two historic houses in the region.

Welsh Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones has just announced grants totalling over £200,000 towards the facelifting of eight properties across the country.

One of these is in Ruabon and another is in Llangollen.

The Welsh Assembly Government grants, ranging from £2,750 to £56,000, have been offered to carry out essential repairs and restoration work to these buildings.

A grant of £45,000 will go to The Willows in Willow Street, Llangollen.

Built early in the 19th century, the two-bedroom house is said to have 18th century origins with connections to the famous Ladies of Llangollen, for whom the original occupants worked at nearby Plas Newydd. Grade two listed, it has been empty for the past 20 years and will soon be extensively renovated and converted into three rentable flats as part of an affordable housing project by North Wales Housing in partnership with Denbighshire County Council.

Facelift work is due to start next month and be completed by the end of this year.
According to Wendy Barnsley, empty homes officer for North Wales Housing, the whole project will cost £420,000 and is being financed with grants from various organisations.

The £45,000 from the Welsh Assembly Government will be used to renovate the house’s external decorative woodwork, which provides the link to Plas Newydd, and to replace the present pebbledashing with traditional lime rendering.

Also to benefit, from a grant of £10,000, is 3 Park Street, Ruabon.

The property, near the famous archway at the Wynnstay Arms in the centre of the village, is grade two listed and one of four blocks of estate cottages built around 1840.

Grant cash will go towards reinstating the cottage’s exterior features.

Its owner, Stephen Gould, said: “It is currently in a fairly poor state of repair but my intention is to renovate it so that it is in keeping with the rest of the houses in the village.

Announcing the grants the minister said: “The grant offers will ensure that some of our most important buildings are restored and maintained for the enjoyment of future generations.”