Glassworks scheme forges ahead

A TEAM of experts drafted in to help transform a derelict area in the centre of Nailsea will soon reveal its plans.

Nailsea Town Council has so far spent �24,626 on appointing professionals, including a landscape architect and ecologist, to research the cost of turning the former Glassworks site into a park and heritage site.

Investigations carried out at the site a few years ago revealed the partially-buried remains of a brick cone which once housed a furnace used for making glass, with associated airways, storage rooms and other structures below ground.

Exposing the archaeology would have proved too costly, so English Heritage and Nailsea Town Council have agreed on an alternative plan to bury it, and put up information boards about the remains, and turn the site into a public open space.

The scheme will be completed in four phases, the first three being to fill in the site, create landscaping and provide paths.

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English Heritage has said the infill would have to be between 500-750mm above the remains to protect them, making it the most expensive part of the project.

The final phase will be to create a statue, possibly with lights, and public art project depicting the cone.

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Town council clerk, Ian Morrell, who is a member of the project board, said: “The scheme lends itself to public consultation and involvement in the decisions on planting trees and flowers.

“Overall, this is a project that is much more amenable to public involvement in the planning stages than the Tithe Barn restoration.”

The proposals are expected to be complete when the town council meets on June 20, with a trust being set up in the second half of the year if the scheme goes ahead.

The project board says it is unlikely to attract full funding from Heritage Lottery Fund because the historical aspect the scheme is being buried, so it will need to target other grant providers.

Mr Morrell told a meeting of the town council on April 4 that no more expenditure would be undertaken before the meeting in June.

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