Montgomeryshire AM campaigns for Laura Ashley Centre in Carno

Mick Bates AM has launched a campaign to establish a Laura Ashley Centre in Carno, calling on the Heritage Minister in the chamber today to provide support for such an innovative project, which would provide and economic boost through increasing tourism in the region, as well as support 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 in Montgomeryshire Laura Ashley played an important role in our cultural industrial heritage. With the closure of the Laura Ashley factory, we have a valuable opportunity to celebrate the legacy of Laura Ashley, at the same time supporting the economic development of the Carno region.

“Representatives of the Carno community have expressed their strong local attachment to the history of Laura Ashley. They have suggested housing a Laura Ashley display in the old station building at Carno, providing a focus for rural enterprise and a celebration of the history of Laura Ashley.

“A Laura Ashley Centre would help support the long running campaign to reopen Carno station. In turn, reopening the Carno station would provide the most sustainable access to this innovative project as visitors could travel to the centre by rail.

“The Laura Ashley Centre could be situated next to a possible wind power centre with information on Carno windfarm. This would place total emphasis on sustainable economic, environmental and social development within the area.

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

“I have written to Laura Ashley and hope they will agree to meet to discuss this project. I have raised the issue with the Heritage Minister in the chamber today and whilst I was advised that there is no funding at present, I firmly believe that this proposal would bring fantastic economic and cultural benefits to the Carno community and I will continue the campaign.”