The Harvey’s Foundry Trust has just been awarded a multi-million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to conserve and adapt for commercial use the remaining disused Grade II Listed buildings at the nineteenth century Harvey’s Foundry in Hayle, Cornwall.
The grant from the innovative HLF Heritage Enterprise fund will see just over £4 million committed to restoring two historic foundry buildings, the Pattern Shop and the Plantation Stores, which are of international significance.
These buildings will then have the potential to attract an additional £4 million of private investment which will boost Hayle’s economy and potentially create 84 new jobs.
The historic importance of Harveys has already secured the conservation of John Harvey House, the former works’ drawing office, White’s Warehouse, and the Foundry Farm complex.
Harveys was the principal centre for mining engineering in Cornwall during the nineteenth century and acquired an international reputation for the range and quality of the mining equipment and steam machinery produced. Established in 1779, such was the name of Harveys that during the 1840s the company was commissioned to manufacture the largest steam pumping engines ever built.
Brian Capper, chair of the Harveys Foundry Trust, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund received many high quality applications from around the country and we are delighted that our bid has been successful.
"There is much work still to do to secure match funding and finalise the details but this grant is a massive show of support for the trustees, staff and supporters of the trust and I congratulate them all and thank them for their efforts.”
With the decline of local mining fortunes during the latter part of the nineteenth century business at Harveys was to be greatly curtailed, and this in combination with the competition from foundries established overseas was to eventually see the closure of the engineering works in 1903.
Decades of neglect have subsequently taken their toll on the Harveys complex but in recent times the historic worth of the site both in local and international terms has been recognised which is now helping to secure the future of this important site. The new funding will deliver the final phase of a ten year regeneration programme for the site which has to date created in excess of 150 jobs within 40 new businesses.
HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme addresses ‘market failure’ - where buildings have previously failed to attract investment or realise their commercial potential because the cost of repair has meant that they were not commercially viable. This Lottery investment is now bridging that financial gap, enabling vital repairs and conservation works to transform the remaining buildings at Harvey’s.
The next step in the regeneration process is to prepare a more detailed Stage 2 bid which will further define the specifics of the project, including the building conservation and conversion work.