Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ledbury Places?

Ledbury Places is the name of the ongoing regeneration project that is looking to secure a long-term, sustainable future for six of Ledbury’s most historic buildings – the Barrett Browning Institute, the Market House, Burgage Hall, the Heritage Centre, the Town Council Offices and the Butcher Row Museum.

Who is involved?

The Ledbury & District Civic Society initiated this project and has joined with Ledbury Town Council, Herefordshire Council, the Trustees of the Barrett Browning Institute (the current location of the Library) and the Ledbury Area Development Trust to work together to look at the future of the six buildings mentioned above.

The vast majority of the people involved in the project are locals – full details can be found on the Partners page – while the expertise of professionals from various sectors is also being sought.

It is important that people know this is a project being driven by people from Ledbury, for the people of Ledbury.

What is the long-term aim of this regeneration project?

By working together as a group, the aim of the representatives involved in Ledbury Places is not only to preserve six of the town’s most prized assets, but also ensure these buildings are put to the best possible use for the community in the future.

The current condition of the buildings and the way they are used is being analysed and plans are being put together to recommend how they could be more fully used in the future and how they can be put to the best possible use for the whole community in Ledbury.

The management of the buildings is also being looked at to see whether grouping all six buildings together as one larger asset is economically more viable than looking after each building individually.

Why is it important?

The project is important because these six buildings play a huge part in making Ledbury such a special town.

However, some of the buildings are in need of a great deal of work to preserve them, while others are significantly under-used and therefore are not as important a part of Ledbury life as they should be.

The grants the Ledbury Places team hope to secure as a result of proposals put forward following the Ledbury Places feasibility study could go a long way to safeguarding the long-term future of these buildings.

In addition, the funding could also allow improvement work to be done on the six buildings to make them more accessible and therefore offer greater options – for the retail or tourism trade for example – for their future use.

Updated FAQs After Grant Funding Application

On 10 February 2015 we announced that Ledbury Places had been unsuccessful in its initial bid for grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Why has the grant application been unsuccessful?

We are awaiting formal feedback from Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a full de-brief on our bid, but it appears that applications for this round of funding were over-subscribed.  

We were already aware that many projects are unsuccessful with their first bid for funding from the HLF, due to the level of competition, and therefore we always knew there was a possibility we might miss out with our initial application.

What is the next step for Ledbury Places?

We will analyse the formal feedback we receive from HLF and then make decisions about what to do next.

We have the option of re-submitting our application to HLF – many projects are successful when they apply for the second time. We also have the option of seeking funding from elsewhere.

Depending upon HLF advice, we might consider prioritising some of the six buildings, and seek funding to do the work in stages. We would do this in line with the original plan to which we remain committed, while we would also include full consultation with the local community in any plans that we make.

Will the Ledbury Places Board continue with the project?

We have always believed the Ledbury Places proposal has huge benefits for the local community and we still feel that is the case.

The six buildings we have focused on – the Barrett Browning Institute, Burgage Hall, the Heritage Centre, the Market House, the Butcher Row House Museum and the Town Council offices – need long term investment to repair and restore them, and to make them fit for sustainable use moving forward so they do not become a burden to local taxpayers.

By ensuring all six buildings are well used and well maintained, the local community itself benefits, while the town of Ledbury also sees its core heritage assets protected for future generations.

Could this money be spent on other initiatives in Ledbury, rather than this project? 

Any money spent on Ledbury Places has been specifically allocated to the project by central government and through grant funding by the Social Investment Business & the Architectural Heritage Fund.

The funding was only available to be spent on developing this project and would never have been available for any other projects or priorities in the town.

It is also worth remembering that documents like the feasibility study produced as part of the Ledbury Places proposal will be of great use to the town as its content – which includes detailed commercial, retail and tourism studies – can be used to help shape the Neighbourhood Development Plan and also for the Town Council to reference in relation to many important aspects of life in Ledbury.

We are also pleased that as part of this project, the Ledbury & District Civic Society have been able to run the Heritage Centre under special licence from Herefordshire Council and will continue to do so this year.

Six buildings formed part of the initial bid for funding – is it possible that was too many? 

No, we don’t believe so as we have been told on several occasions that our innovative model of a community-led organisation, managing and running a group of heritage buildings is valued as a ground-breaking approach.

However, clearly we will analyse the feedback we receive and then take on board any observations about how our application can be improved as and when we decide to resubmit it.

For information, in the coming weeks we will endeavour to update these FAQs once we have received formal feedback from HLF and have had the chance to assess it fully.

Town Council Offices