Residents, businesses and visitors to Pontypridd Town Centre will soon see works activity at the YMCA building, to deliver a major £4.48m refurbishment project which was agreed last month.
In December 2019, the Council’s Cabinet agreed for the Local Authority to take ownership of the YMCA building, and invest an extra £383,000 to secure a total investment of more than £4m external funding for its refurbishment. This funding package includes a significant £2.28m contribution by the Arts Council of Wales.
The redevelopment will revitalise the YMCA venue, which has been at the heart of Pontypridd since 1910, and bring it back into use. The building will be completely refurbished, with the iconic Shelley Hall at its heart. Community spaces will also be made available for the use of local groups. Knox & Wells is the appointed contractor for the scheme, with the plans drawn up by Capita.
Once the development is complete, local participative arts organisation Artis Community will run the building on behalf of Pontypridd YMCA.
Works will start on site on Monday, January 20, with contractors beginning by mobilising the site. Internal demolition works will begin in early February 2020, and external works will get underway in March 2020 – utilising scaffolding to the exterior of the building. External works and a new roof are due for completion later this year, with internal works complete by mid-2021.
Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said:
“I was very pleased that the Council’s Cabinet agreed to back this landmark development last month, which allowed the Council to take ownership of this historic building and secure more than £4m external investment for its refurbishment.
“This ambitious project, which has been made possible due to the support from the Arts Council of Wales, will help secure a bright and sustainable future for the Pontypridd YMCA.
“These are very exciting times for Pontypridd, with the YMCA just one of the major projects underway – as the Council delivers upon the commitment it made to regenerate the town in 2017, when it formally recognised Pontypridd as a Strategic Opportunity Area with potential for large economic growth.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the works on site at the Pontypridd YMCA building progress over the coming weeks and months, and the Council will communicate progress updates throughout the works period.”
Phil George, Chair of Arts Council of Wales, added:
“We are delighted to have been able to support this ambitious and transformative project. This development will provide great art and culture to the people of Pontypridd and beyond, and will give this historic venue a new lease of life.”
Chair of Pontypridd YMCA, Kay Walters, said:
“This huge investment will enable us to reopen a building which has played an important part in Pontypridd’s rich social and cultural history, and we know the YM has an important place in people’s hearts.
“Our plans for the Pontypridd YMCA are based on partnership, and we will look to work with other organisations in the area to give them a wonderful and modern platform for their work. We will continue to engage with all parts of our community about how this facility can meet their needs and wishes.”