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Restoration of iconic Temperance Hall set to bring new lease of life to Haverfordwest High Street

5 June 2024

Repurposing of Grade II listed building will create a new arts facility for the community and support local creative businesses as part of regeneration of historic town centre

Temperance Hall, cinema, wartime billet and canteen, bingo hall, tax office and Freemasons’ Hall - the stunning Grade II Listed Temperance Hall at the centre of Haverfordwest has seen it all! Now it is being given a new lease of life following its acquisition by Haverfordwest Heritage, a community-run organisation supported by the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Its Italianate façade has graced the high street since 1889, a symbol of the town’s collective social history. But after these many incarnations – and like many heritage buildings across the country - it has been unused, unloved and empty since 2009. 

Now, through the work of a new Heritage Development Trust called Haverfordwest Heritage, it will once again be brought into public use. The Temperance Hall will be restored and repurposed to create a new Community Printworks, which is set to open in summer 2025. This will include providing an exhibition space, print and design workspaces, and a well-equipped workshop with traditional printing presses which will host an exciting programme of courses.

Richard Blacklaw-Jones from Haverfordwest Heritage said: ‘By opening a welcoming and accessible Community Printworks, the aim is to create services and experiences that attract local people and visitors into the town, provide space and opportunities for creative businesses, develop skills, bring people together and enhance the town.

‘Our neglected heritage buildings symbolise the decline of our once thriving historic town. Unused and left to deteriorate further, The Temperance Hall would have epitomised this decay. But renovated and repurposed, this stunning building can be part of the efforts to raise the perception of the town and provide a welcoming new facility.   

‘By re-inventing The Temperance Hall as a Community Printworks, we want to help restore Haverfordwest as a vibrant and exciting place to live, work and visit. Community Printworks established in other towns have quickly become successful centres for fun and accessible art making for everyone who wants to have a go, as well as providing access to specialist equipment for professional printmakers. We can’t wait to welcome everyone in to find out more on Saturday 15 June at our open day.’

Heidi Baker, a graphic designer, art and design tutor at Pembrokeshire College and founder of Popty Press – a small design and print studio in the town - said: ‘We’ve been testing the community print workshop model at our smaller studio and are thrilled to have the opportunity to move to a larger space to accommodate more printmakers and more activities. Printmaking is a very accessible form of art enabling everyone of all ages and abilities to benefit from getting involved in creative activities.

‘Haverfordwest has so much potential, and I feel excited to be part of a new energy reviving the town. Each little pinprick of new activity may be small, but when they all join up we’ll make our town a place we can be proud of.’

Haverfordwest Heritage is one of 12 Heritage Development Trusts (HDTs) across the UK that are funded through a three-year strategic partnership between the Architectural Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. These people-powered social enterprises have been created to reimagine, repair, and reuse historic buildings that communities value, reinvesting revenues to build flourishing, prosperous places in every corner of the UK. As well as funding, the HDTs will be supported with expertise and advice as they develop.

The purchase and restoration of the Temperance Hall has been made possible with funding from the Community Ownership Fund, and the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, Sir John Perrot Trust, and the Architectural Heritage Fund. Haverfordwest Heritage is now planning the renovation programme and would like to share these exciting plans with the community at an open day at the Temperance Hall on Saturday 15 June when there will be tours, exhibitions and staff on hand to explain more about the plans for the building and how people can get involved.

Kelcey Wilson Lee, Director of Programmes at the AHF, said: 'AHF has been working with communities for nearly fifty years to find enterprising ways to revitalise old buildings by providing advice, grants and loans to put sustainable heritage at the heart of vibrant local economies.

‘We are delighted to have supported the purchase of The Temperance Hall to bring it back into community use, as well as the wider work of Haverfordwest Heritage. This is just the start of their work as one of a number of Heritage Development Trusts across the UK, and we look forward to seeing how their work develops to bring about positive change in the town.’

New Chief Executive joins to spearhead wider plans

To drive forward the wider programme of work, Haverfordwest Heritage have appointed a new Chief Executive, Stuart Berry. Stuart has joined from PLANED, the West Wales community development charity, where he has worked as the Cultural Coordinator for the past five years. Prior to joining PLANED, Stuart worked in museums in the north of England and west Wales, focusing on connecting people with their local heritage and promoting the role heritage attractions can play in economic and community regeneration. 

Stuart said: ‘I am delighted to be taking on this exciting role and look forward to working with the community in Haverfordwest in bringing new life to buildings such as The Temperance Hall. With its rich history, The Temperance Hall is the perfect starting point for Haverfordwest Heritage, and we are thrilled to be able to bring it back into use for the benefit of the town. But it doesn’t stop there, and we would like The Temperance Hall to be the first of many heritage buildings we buy, renovate and repurpose in the town.’

To find out more about the open day on 15 June and the plans for The Temperance Hall, visit

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