Laura Ashley, one of the world's best-loved home and lifestyle brands, will be celebrating its 70th anniversary and there are plans for a centre honouring the mid Wales fashion designer's legacy.

Ann Evans, founder of Heritage Hub 4 Mid Wales, is on a mission to gain support for a physical heritage hub in Newtown to preserve and raise awareness of Laura Ashley which from its humble beginnings in Carno during the 1960s, grew to have thousands of shops worldwide with a base at Texplan in Newtown.

Laura Ashley was 60 years old when she sadly died in 1985. By the 1990s Laura Ashley Holdings was a global brand employing tens of thousands with seven factories in Wales with a turnover of more than £300 million a year. Laura's husband Bernard was knighted in 1987 and Princess Diana visited Texplan in 1988.

Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council has agreed to support Heritage Hub 4 Mid Wales' application for a place making grant and will provide the group with a letter of endorsement.


The group is collaborating with the new owners of the Laura Ashley brand and archives on a series of 70th anniversary exhibitions to celebrate Bernard and Laura Ashley legacy starting in Newtown next month including Laura Ashley heritage quilt exhibition featuring Brian Jones who was one of the original textile designers from 1972. The Quilt Exhibition will take place in Newtown Library from March 9 to April 1.

Heritage Hub 4 Mid Wales is also collaborating with local schools to digitise the social history of the Ashley family business which employed thousands of families across mid Wales and beyond worldwide.

Heritage Hub 4 Mid Wales has worked to support the People's Collection Wales digital platform, the naming of the bypass roundabouts and the installation of heritage trail plaques in Newtown.

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