Village Alive Trust
Village Alive Trust

Trustees Report to the Year ended 31 May 2017

During the year the Trustees held 5 meetings with the membership and completed the Wine and Heritage Alive in Monmouthshire (WHAM!) project, which completed the restoration of The Croft Barn, Llanvetherine, in partnership with the owners, Robb and Nicola Merchant.

All objectives under grant conditions set by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw were achieved or exceeded and final claims and project evaluation successfully submitted.

Resources for schools were published and a Schools Day held in Croft Barn.

A major conference entitled ‘Stop the Rot’ in May 2017, run in partnership with Monmouthshire County Council Conservation officers, gave information and advice to owners of Listed buildings at risk.

The Trust’s website was re-modelled to a multi-media platform with resources for owners of Listed buildings.

The Trust hosted a conference for members of the Historic Farm Buildings Group (HFBG) in September 2016.

An annual general meeting received the Trustees Report and Accounts and elected trustees in rotation.

The Trust's annual programme of Open days, featuring the properties it has worked with owners to conserve, continues to attract visitors.

In conclusion, another successful year for the Trust which continues to enjoy a local and national reputation for success in the preservation of Listed vernacular buildings giving community access through its web site and events.

Shoppers at Waitrose, Llanfoist

SHOPPERS at Waitrose, Llanfoist are urged to support local buildings preservation charity, The Village Alive Trust Ymddiriedolaeth y Pentre Byw, in August.

The Trust has been selected to benefit from the Community Matters scheme run by Waitrose whereby customers can use green tokens handed out at checkouts to support up to three local good causes each month. Since 2008 the company has donated £14million to nominated good causes across the country.

Pat Griffiths, chairman of The Village Alive Trust, said  "The Trust is run by volunteers and has conserved listed buildings across the area since its inception in 2004. Grant aid has been obtained from various bodies for individual heritage projects over the years and any funds raised through the Community Matters scheme will be used to carry on the good work, so thank you to anyone who supports the Trust's appeal in August."

Details of the Trust's work and downloadable trail leaflets can be found at

Monmouthshire’s heritage assets spotlighted at Stop the Rot event

OWNERS of some of the county’s privately-owned Listed Buildings were hosted at an informative Stop the Rot Conference organised by The Village Alive Trust Ymddiriedolaeth y Pentre Byw in partnership with Monmouthshire County Council.

Letters of invitation had gone to the owners of around 50 Listed Buildings deemed to be at risk of ‘serious loss of features or decline’ following the latest five yearly condition survey by consultants on behalf of Cadw. The event also brought interest from other owners of listed buildings in the area.

Demand for places saw the event moved to the historic Llanddewi Skirrid Village Hall although it was part of The Village Alive Trust’s latest project to conserve the Croft Barn at Whitecastle Vineyard, a project supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw.

Speakers were Amy Longford, Heritage Manager at MCC (who was accompanied by Molly Edwards, Heritage Monitoring Officer); Monmouth architect, Graham Frecknall; Usk architect Liz Hernon and Ross Murray, president of the Country Landowners and Business Association.

Amy explained the basis of the Listed Building register in Monmouthshire which contains condition details of the county’s 2229 Listed Buildings, the fourth highest number per county in Wales. She also detailed the whys and wherefores of ‘listing’ and the legal constraints on unauthorised repairs or development of Listed Buildings. While neglect of owners’ responsibilities for the buildings could result in prosecution, this was rare, and obtaining the necessary Listed Building Consent from MCC before tackling a building was free of administration charge, she explained.

Both architects gave illustrated talks on the warning signs and practical steps to take to ‘Stop the Rot’ and Ross Murray gave a spirited talk on alternative uses for Listed Buildings and the need for lobbying of politicians to help owners more easily protect and reinvent heritage buildings.

Feedback comments from attendees were largely positive, including ‘Excellent conference, most useful, inspirational, encouraging’ and ‘Interested in further help’.

The Village Trust website contains details of all the Trust’s work.

*Pictured is Trust chairman Pat Griffiths opening the Stop the Rot event.

Stop The Rot Conference at Llanddewi Skirrid Hall

Stop the rot in the county’s listed buildings

Download: PDF

AN innovative conference aimed at helping to ‘stop the rot’ in the county’s endangered listed buildings is being organised by The Village Alive Trust Ymddiriedolaeth y Pentre Byw in partnership with Monmouthshire County Council.

A register of the condition of listed buildings is updated by Cadw and MCC every five years and the latest survey by consultants found local listed buildings, ranging from barns to garden structures, to be at risk of ‘serious loss of features or decline’.

Owners have a statutory responsibility to maintain heritage assets. With this in mind, The Village Alive Trust, a registered charity and buildings preservation trust, is inviting owners to meet and learn from conservation professionals how to ‘stop the rot’ on limited budgets but using appropriate conservation materials and techniques.

Owners of listed buildings are receiving postal invitations from theTrust, others who are interested in attending should contact us here.

Pat Griffiths, Trust chairman, said: “The Trust has helped owners of listed buildings since 2004 and is hoping to extend a helpful hand to safeguard more heritage buildings in Monmouthshire through this initiative. There will be knowledgeable speakers and a chance to discuss ways forward in dealing with these historic assets, which may be viewed as a burden by those responsible for their upkeep.”

The event will be supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and is part of the Trust’s latest conservation project at Croft Barn, Whitecastle Vineyard.

Stop the Rot

Stop the Rot Welsh