Montgomeryshire AM campaigns for Laura Ashley Centre in Carno

October 21, 2009 5:12 PM

Local AM Mick Bates has launched a campaign to establish a Laura AshleyCentre in Carno, calling on the Heritage Minister in the chamber todayto provide support for such an innovative project, which would provideand economic boost through increasing tourism in the region, as well assupport the long running campaign to reopen Carno station.

Commenting, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Mick Bates said:

"In Wales we are very proud of our cultural history and inMontgomeryshire Laura Ashley played an important role in our culturalindustrial heritage. With the closure of the Laura Ashley factory, wehave a valuable opportunity to celebrate the legacy of Laura Ashley, atthe same time supporting the economic development of the Carno region.

"Representatives of the Carno community have expressed their stronglocal attachment to the history of Laura Ashley. They have suggestedhousing a Laura Ashley display in the old station building at Carno,providing a focus for rural enterprise and a celebration of the historyof Laura Ashley.

"A Laura Ashley Centre would help support the long running campaign toreopen Carno station. In turn, reopening the Carno station wouldprovide the most sustainable access to this innovative project asvisitors could travel to the centre by rail.

"The Laura Ashley Centre could be situated next to a possible wind powercentre with information on Carno windfarm. This would place totalemphasis on sustainable economic, environmental and social developmentwithin the area.

"The potential for tourism within the region would be enhanced by thedevelopment and visitor experience could cater for educational visits,increasing youth involvement and interest in the culture and history andindeed the future of the Carno area.

"I have written to Laura Ashley and hope they will agree to meet todiscuss this project. I have raised the issue with the HeritageMinister in the chamber today and whilst I was advised that there is nofunding at present, I firmly believe that this proposal would bringfantastic economic and cultural benefits to the Carno community and Iwill continue the campaign."

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