Cash boost takes Ammanford icon to new heights

South Wales Guardian: TOWERS OF STRENGTH:  Peter and Desna Pemberton have worked tirelessly to ensure the refurbishment of Ammanford's All Saints' Church. TOWERS OF STRENGTH: Peter and Desna Pemberton have worked tirelessly to ensure the refurbishment of Ammanford's All Saints' Church.

Fundraisers striving to renovate Ammanford’s most iconic building are “over the moon” following the announcement of a £117,000 grant.

The town’s 99-year-old All Saints’ Church is currently undergoing a £500,000 refurbishment and the latest cash injection takes the fund a major step closer to its final target.

All Saints’ is one of just four churches in Wales to receive financial backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s latest round of grants.

The Grade II listed building is to receive £117,000 to fund work on the clock tower, which was added in 1926 in memory of those who died in World War One.

The church itself was erected in 1915 and the restoration committee are determined to have all work carried out on the building in time for Remembrance Sunday next year.

“This is fantastic news for the future of All Saints',” said Peter Pemberton, project manager of the restoration committee.

“All the hard work we have put in over the past year or so is now paying off.

“We are now waiting to hear about a couple of other grants than we have submitted and we should know the response to those before the end of September.

“We have no raised more than half of the £500,000 necessary and we are confident we will achieve the target figure by the end of November.”

Committee secretary Desna Pemberton added: “We are over the moon with this grant.

“These funds are a massive step towards achieving our ultimate goal.”

The Lottery Heritage grant includes £17,000 earmarked for the architectural design work required to transform All Saints into a community hub, meeting room and 500-seat venue while maintaining the integrity of the all-but century old church.

All Saints' which was forced to close to the public in recent months has already re-opened for services and the committee is adamant all work will be completed in time for Remembrance Sunday in its 100th year.

“The clock tower was erected to honour those who died in World War One and it seems only fitting we ensure everything is complete in time for Armistice Day,” said Mr Pemberton.

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