Regional Park £700,000 will transform Cyfarthfa’s Canolfan
- Categories : Press Release
- 25 Sep 2019
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has welcomed the announcement of £700,000 for Cyfarthfa Park as part of Welsh Government’s Valleys Regional Park ‘Discovery Gateways’ plans.
The money will be used on the further development of the Canolfan to provide better access and opening hours, a full-service café and community meeting space, and new toilets and changing provision at the Splash Pad.
With the aim of the Cyfarthfa Crucible Report to position the park and the surrounding area as a local, national and international visitor destination, the need to redevelop the Canolfan was described as ‘essential’ by Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection Cllr Geraint Thomas.
“The Discovery Gateways funding couldn’t be timelier as we begin work on our plans to transform the Cyfarthfa area into a heritage centre of international significance,” he said.
“The Valleys Regional Park project’s intention is to use the natural and cultural heritage of the region to generate social, economic and environmental benefits tie in perfectly with our own vision of what the Cyfarthfa Plan will achieve.”
Announcing a total £6.6m of investment in the 11 Valleys parks and heritage sites named as Discovery Gateways, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the sites had ‘a great opportunity to tell the stories of the Valleys and encourage local people and visitors to explore the surrounding areas, including towns and villages, and the wider landscape’.
He added that the funding, planned to be spent between now and 2021, would help provide ‘safe and welcoming spaces that can be enjoyed by the local community as well as visitors from further afield’.
When the Canolfan was built 10 years ago, the original plan was to create a space for community usage. But access to it is poor and the catering opportunities limited.
The redevelopment will ensure access is improved and the facilities are available all year around. The project will see the creation of the café, with full kitchen, food preparation, storage, counter and seating areas.
Further opportunities created will include space for meetings and functions, event catering, children’s parties, provision of picnic hampers, and mobile catering to service areas of the park such as the lake and Pandy Field.
The creation of new toilets and changing provision – including disabled facilities - at the Splash Pad is seen as a priority not only for peak season in the summer, but also to accommodate local families and visitors attending high profile events held in the park all year round.
The County Borough Council will work in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust to deliver the project.
Chief Executive Officer of Wellbeing@Merthyr (Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust) Sally Church said the trust was delighted with the recent announcement of the award of funding to improve the Canolfan.
“This already popular facility within Cyfartha Park will go from strength to strength and the great team we have on site will be so pleased to be able to offer a greater range and quality of food offering,” she added. “This is a bonus on top of the recent award from Fields in Trust for the Best Park in Wales.”
Cllr Thomas added: “The Crucible report, published last year by the Design Commission for Wales, said there was a need to create at Cyfarthfa a visitor experience of a scale and quality that would mark it out as a major national landmark with international appeal, befitting Merthyr’s central contribution to the industrial revolution.
“This funding for the Park will help support the Canolfan in becoming a superb-quality facility providing an exceptional provision for both tourists and the local community.”