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. . . and proposals should stress its potential . . .

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Kenneth Dunning (Letters, 26.4.01) has missed the point about the needless demolition of the Brynmawr Rubber Factory. His question - 'Just what is the purpose of any building?' - needs to be expanded to: 'Just what is the potential of any building?' The useful life of the factory, as with many other buildings that SAVE Britain's Heritage has encountered, is potentially far longer than that which was initially intended.

To call the building 'old, worn out and of no further economic use' is to deny the existence of conservation-led regeneration, as well as the chapter in the life of the area that this superb building represents. With Blaenavon World Heritage Site down the road, the time has come to reassess the importance of Brynmawr as a great industrial landmark.

Comparing the reuse of a building to continuing to drive a Ford Model T in the present day is fatuous - the very challenge of reusing a building is to find a new use for it which meets current needs and future demands.

Numerous good suggestions for Brynmawr's reuse have been put forward, but despite the best efforts of individuals locally and groups such as SAVE, vague ideas for something else have thus far won the day.

The millions provided for its demolition came from the Welsh taxpayer in the first place.

That money could just as easily have been put into the building's repair and its subsequent use as a motor for regeneration in the Brynmawr area, rather than funding out-of-town shopping that will suck the life out of the town centre.

Adam Wilkinson, secretary, SAVE Britain's Heritage

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