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Abingdon Abbey to get a facelift

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At it's peak, it was one of the wealthiest monasteries in England. Now plans are afoot to renovate what is left of Abingdon Abbey and transform one of Oxfordshire's most historic sites.

The Friends of Abingdon Civic Society want to carry out repairs in a bid to attract more visitors to the town.

Watch this report by Mel Bloor:

Once part of of Abingdon's famous Abbey, the Long Gallery and Unicorn Theatre are among the few surviving structures from the original site.

Tim Miller, Curator- Abingdon Abbey Buildings:

The Abbey buildings are now owned by the Friends of Abingdon Civic Society which has unveiled a £3.5 million pound plan to transform the site.

Changes include an exhibition space, a shop and better access for disabled people.

Changes include an exhibition space, a shop and better access for disabled people. Credit: ITV Meridian

Thanks to a grant of £7000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the group has carried out a feasibility study and drawn up a plan. It's hoped the project will help attract more visitors to the town.

Bryan Brown, The Friends of Abingdon Civic Society:

The buildings are already a popular wedding venue but it's hoped renovation will ensure they can be used all year round - with money raised helping to fund the upkeep and pay staff.

Funding and permissions are yet to be secured but it's hoped the work would take place in 2021 in time for a grand reopening in 2022.