The team at Brecon Cathedral is about to embark on a major project to restore, repair and reorder the building.

The purpose of the project is to enable the Cathedral to develop its leading role as a centre for the heritage and cultural life, visitor economy, and wellbeing of the town and area.

Such is the significance of this work that BBC Wales featured interviews about it on Monday, August 14.

The project will be faced with particular challenges because of the decline in the heritage skills needed to work on a Grade I listed building and it is this skills shortage that BBC Wales decided to focus on.

Brecon Cathedral’s roof
Brecon Cathedral’s roof is set to be sensitively repaired and restored (Brecon Cathedral)

Garry Owen interviewed Stephen Oliver (Project and Cathedral Architect) as well as Tom Jones and Finn Fraser, specialists in the restoration and renovation of period and listed properties, using traditional building techniques and materials.

The piece also includes a contribution from the Dyffryn Tywi Centre, Llandeilo, which delivers specialist training and advice to support all aspects of sustaining our historic buildings across Wales and the UK.

The Centre’s objectives are to ensure everyone who is responsible for looking after, or working on an old building has the right information, skills and materials for carrying out sensitive and appropriate repairs.

This will ensure that our old buildings, both listed and non-listed, are around for a further 100 years and more.

Recordings of the interviews can be seen on BBC iPlayer and an online version can be found here.

In reality these interviews were recorded a few weeks ago, just before the royal visit, and since then work on preparations for the project itself has begun in earnest.

The first Project Board meeting took place on August 8, prior to which the team met with Eurig Williams, one of the mentors appointed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NHLF) as well as with Rebecca Ball, the Senior Investment Manager from NHLF.

The team was briefed on current activity, including the appointment of key consultants who will be vital to achieving a successful outcome. While each consultant has an important role to play within their own field of expertise, one of particular interest is the Activities Consultant, who will be helping the cathedral team to engage and inform the wider community.

During the meeting several topics were discussed at length, including the design development, business plan, projected costs and associated risks.

One of the greatest challenges identified is the sourcing of the stone roof tiles, which come from one remaining quarry just outside Hay-on-Wye. The quantities they will need to supply are eye-watering!

Alongside this the apprenticeship heritage-roofing skills training programme, being developed both to aid the project but also to help develop these skills for the future, was discussed and will be an added bonus to come from the project.

The Project Board reported to the Cathedral Chapter on September 20 by which time more detailed plans should have been available from the Project Architect to share with wider audiences and key partner organisations involved with the life of the Cathedral.