Successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid to support Luxulyan Valley Heritage Restoration Project

A joint bid from Cornwall Council and Cornwall Heritage Trust for the Luxulyan Valley Heritage Restoration project has received earmarked funding of £3,473,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Earmarked funding means the outline proposals for the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The project now has 2 years to submit fully developed proposals to secure a firm award. Development funding of £246,800 has been awarded to help Cornwall Council and Cornwall Heritage Trust progress plans to apply for the full earmarked funding.

The Luxulyan Valley Heritage Restoration project aims to carry out extensive conservation and interpretation of the valley’s industrial and natural heritage and will be underpinned by an activity programme that will engage new audiences, improve accessibility and provide inspiring training and volunteering opportunities for the local community.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for housing and environment Joyce Duffin said:

“This is fantastic news. Luxulyan Valley is a hugely important part of Cornwall’s industrial and natural heritage and is of national and international significance. To be given the funding green light by the Heritage Lottery Fund is a major boost.  It will allow the Luxulyan Valley Heritage Restoration project to work on plans to not only conserve our heritage, but to also share the story so that more people can appreciate the amazing historical significance of the valley.”

 Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said:

“The Luxulyan Valley is a little-known but stunning part of the Cornish landscape.  We loved the ambition of this project, from conserving the Treffyn Viaduct and Velvet Path to getting the local community involved through volunteering and training opportunities.  There’s no doubt it has the potential to deliver real and lasting benefits to both the natural and industrial heritage of the area.”

Luxulyan Valley is situated just outside the village of Luxulyan, approximately 3 miles from the Eden Project and is a key component of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.  The valley contains a complex system of leats and industrial structures constructed between 1839 – 1842 which connects the tin and copper mines of central Cornwall, with the harbours of Par and Charlestown. 

 Today, the valley is steeped in natural beauty and loved for its tranquility but the heritage assets need substantial repairs to enable them to continue functioning as an integrated system. The project will restore much of the industrial heritage within the valley including the iconic Treffry Viaduct, a Scheduled Monument on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ register. The viaduct is an imposing granite structure which carries the Carmears leat and tramway high above the valley floor. At 27metres high, over 200 metres long, with 10 equal span arches, it is an amazing feat of engineering and the most spectacular surviving monument to the horse drawn tramway era for which the valley is renowned.

Philip Hills, Cornwall Heritage Trust Chairperson, said:

“This is wonderful news and ensures the future heritage of the Treffry Viaduct and long-term sustainability of the Luxulyan Valley as a whole”

 The Carmears tramway has some of the best surviving lengths of early 19th century tramway rails, chairs and setts in situ in the UK. The Viaduct was identified in a public survey for the BBC as one of the ‘7 Man Made Wonders of South West England’.

 A separately funded hydroelectric turbine, powered by water from the repaired leats, will fund the ongoing conservation and continue the water powered theme of the valley.

8c LV Carmears Wheel Pit  8d LV Treffry Viaduct & Fowey Consols Leat Path  8b LV Fowey Consols Leat & Leat Path