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WALES: Building award for coverted chapel.

A ONCE dilapidated and vandalised Baptist chapel has won a North Wales construction award.

The Ebenezer Chapel at Cefn Mawr, near Wrexham, was at the centre of the community for more than 100 years.

But then congregations dwindled and the chapel held its last service nearly 20 years ago, eventually falling into disrepair.

Now it's at the centre of the community again as a stylish cafe bar with offices and function rooms.

The pounds 1m restoration was the result of a collaboration between the Dee Valley Community Project (DVCP) and Wrexham County Borough Council, and it is the winner in the conversion category of the authority's Building Awards scheme.

DVCP manager Paul Tincello said: "The chapel had been gutted and the pews and any ornate features stripped out. What did remain, though, was the original ceiling and the higher stained glass windows were largely intact."

As well as restoring and recreating period features, new 21st century highlights have been installed.

New stained-glass windows have been created by Gresford glazier Harry White depicting Cefn Mawr's history.

The original congregational hall is now a venue for concerts and classes.

Downstairs, what was the vestry is now a function room with plasma screen, used for conferences and meetings.

To make the building as environmentally sustainable as possible, solar panels have been installed on its roof providing 75% of the hot water and contributing to the building's underfloor heating.

The year-long renovation and conversion of the chapel was part of a pounds 3.5m townscape heritage initiative in Cefn Mawr.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 4, 2008
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