AN HISTORIC house in Llangollen will soon be home to new tenants after lying empty and derelict for more than 20 years.

The Willows, a Grade II listed three storey town house, is being turned into three self-contained apartments.

Denbighshire Council says it will provide much-needed affordable rented accommodation for the Llangollen community as part of the county’s Empty Homes Project, which is run in partnership with North Wales Housing Association.

As part of the refurbishment the developer, Castlemead Homes Ltd, will be providing training opportunities for young people. This will give trainees experience of heritage skills such as lime rendering and plastering.

Cllr Rhys Hughes said: “The renovation of this building is important to the community of Llangollen in many ways.

“It provides good quality affordable housing for tenants but also improves the visual amenity of the town as The Willows holds a prominent position at the entrance to Willow Street.”

Cllr David Thomas, cabinet lead member for regeneration with responsibility for housing, said: “The Willows is a flagship for the Denbighshire Empty Homes Project which has been shortlisted for a national award. I wish our officers the best of luck at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Welsh Housing Awards ceremony on November 26.”

The project was made possible with funding from a social housing grant from the Welsh Assembly Government; Department of Environment; sustainability and housing, Denbighshire’s commuted sums ring-fenced for affordable housing in Llangollen; CADW Historic Buildings grant and North Wales housing private finance.

North Wales Housing bought The Willows for £1 from Castlemead on the agreement that Castlemead would be employed to carry out the refurbishment work.