The new Channel 4 series, ‘Great British Buildings – Restoration of the Year’ had its first episode on Thursday 23 March, and featured the best restored buildings from the Georgian period across the UK. The heat winner, which will go forward to the final, was Cardigan Castle, a project that the Architectural Heritage Fund has supported since 2006.
The site comprises the extensive remains of the 12th Century Castle, Castle Green House, 43 St Mary Street, Ty Castell, various outbuildings, and the surrounding curtain wall. The Castle accommodated the great, and first Eisteddfod in 1176 to celebrate its completion, and therefore occupies a special place in Welsh consciousness and identity. The AHF helped the Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust to secure the site by acquiring Ty Castell, a building next to the Castle entrance with a loan. However the Trust was also able to utilise AHF development funding to assess the options for re-use and prepare itself for applications to major funders. The Castle now offers visitor accommodation, a riverside restaurant and a summer events programme. It is set to be one of the largest tourist attractions in West Wales, boosting the local economy and bringing in new jobs.