By Emily Price
A £1.2m funding boost to help transform Cyfarthfa Castle hopes to open new chapters in Welsh tourism.
The Welsh Government funding will move the 100-hectare park in Merthyr Tydfil a step closer to becoming an international quality museum with a world class visitor centre.
The 20 year Cyfarthfa Plan is the result of 12-months’ work led by the internationally renowned Ian Ritchie Architects and his team. The plan was commissioned by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and warmly welcomed by the Welsh Government.
The project will be carried out by The Cyfarthfa Foundation in collaboration with Merthyr Tydfil Council, the Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust and the Valleys Regional Park.
Geraint Talfan Davies, Chair of The Cyfarthfa Foundation, said: “This funding is a hugely welcome step forward for a project that can be truly transformative both for the local community and for Wales as a whole.
“The Foundation is determined to create something of international quality that will celebrate an industrial heritage of world importance, enhance the natural environment and act as an engine of social and cultural renewal.”
The project also hopes to regenerate Merthyr Tydfil with connections to the town centre shops, leisure facilities and heritage sites.
Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport and Chair of the Valleys Taskforce, said: “This project has the potential to be an attraction of international importance, which also brings real benefits to the local community.
The Cyfarthfa Foundation has been unapologetic about its ambition and its determination to create a flagship attraction which celebrates Merthyr Tydfil’s global importance in the story of how we have all developed.
“This investment should be a great legacy of the Valleys taskforce project and will play an important role in the ongoing development of the Valleys Regional Park as a catalyst for change.”
Originally constructed for ironmaster William Crawshay II, Cyfarthfa Castle is set in beautiful park and woodland. It’s hoped the project will help utilise green space and support healthy lifestyles and wellbeing.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas said: “Visit Wales’ ambition is to grow tourism for the good of Wales.
“This outstanding vision will both celebrate and heal the natural and post-industrial environment to provide a beautiful setting for recreation, harnessing the potential for tourism to improve the wider economic wellbeing of Merthyr and the wider Valleys region.”