THE Glassworks site in Nailsea could soon be transformed into a park and heritage site.
Plans to begin restoring the site were put on hold last year after English Heritage said it was ‘highly unlikely’ it would be able to provide a grant for the scheme.
The council had come up with three proposals to expose the archaeology on the site for visitors to see, but the cheapest scheme was expected to cost at least £200,000 and was considered too expensive.
English Heritage and Nailsea Town Council have now agreed on an alternative plan to bury the archaeology, but put up information boards with details about the remains underneath, and turn the site into a public open space.
Town council clerk, Ian Morrell said: “With the new option the archaeology would not be opened up at all, it would all be enclosed, which would mean it would be completely safe from damage.
“When you expose archaeology you then have maintenance issues and potential damage from weather and vandals. By closing it in it won’t be visible, but above ground we would do something in the landscaping that would recognise what was underneath the ground.
“This would mean much lower maintenance costs, but we would still be able to explain the heritage of the site.
“One of the options is that we have a stage by stage scheme, depending on what the total cost is. The objective is to secure the archaeology so that in years to come people would be able to unearth the remains when there’s new technology to do it better.”
The Glassworks has been in a poor condition for many years and the town council is desperate to restore it and make it accessible for residents and visitors alike, with information boards to explain the history of the site.
The new scheme would be a lot cheaper, while still improving the site and showing off the town’s rich history.
Money for the scheme would come from Nailsea Town Council and other funding bodies the authority approaches.
At its meeting on Wednesday, Nailsea Town Council agreed to request a quote from consultant Andrew Smith - who is an expert on the site after carrying out a detailed report on its history for Tesco under the Avon Archaeological Unit - to provide consultancy on enclosing and securing the archaeology..
Councillors also agreed to request a quote from three companies for fees to design and implement a landscape and heritage realisation scheme for the site.
For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.