Welsh frame heritage plan

Welsh heritage minister Alun Ffred Jones has published a strategic direction statement for the historic environment of Wales, the first since 2003.

Among the actions included are a survey to identify 20th century assets of historic importance and a new battlefields register. The Welsh Assembly Government's historic environment service Cadw said it would continue to co-operate on regeneration of heritage sites and townscapes.

Jones said: "Heritage can make a huge difference. Economic benefits through tourism are the obvious example - 90 per cent of visitors staying in Wales visit cultural sites."

He added that helping people attach to the historic environment in which they live is a government priority. "I am eager to work with partners to preserve local distinctiveness through better planning, design and maintenance of the historic fabric," he maintained.

Civic Trust for Wales director Matthew Griffiths praised the move: "We welcome the interest that the minister has taken in our historic environment and his refreshing approach in engaging with the voluntary and public sector."

National Trust Wales external affairs manager Ruth Williams echoed this view. "We are delighted that the minister is supporting a heritage network for Wales. It will give a voice to voluntary and community groups who do such good work on the ground and can bring their first-hand experiences to the policy table," she said.


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