Merthyr Tydfil councillors have given their unanimous backing to a masterplan for the transformation of Cyfarthfa Castle and Park and the surrounding area into a major museum and visitor attraction based on the town’s world-renowned industrial heritage.
The Council’s decision follows 12 months’ work by a multi-disciplinary team led by London-based Ian Ritchie Architects, working closely with the Design Commission for Wales.
A public launch of the plans this week had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 lockdown in Wales. It will now take place later in November when the full lockdown ends. This will be followed by a series of meetings with community organisations and other stakeholders throughout the county borough and the region.
Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection Cllr Geraint Thomas said:
“The consultants have produced an exciting vision that has the capacity to bring about a transformation in the fortunes of Merthyr Tydfil.
“It is not just about giving the castle and park a new lease of life – it’s about engaging the whole town in a new future. I’m delighted that it has received cross-party backing by the whole Council,” he added.
“The consultants have done a remarkable job in delivering such exciting and wide-ranging proposals despite all the constraints of the Covid-19 outbreak.”
The 20-year plan follows nearly 60 consultation meetings and workshops undertaken last autumn before the pandemic. Meetings and creative workshops were held with primary and secondary school pupils and teachers, college students and lecturers, community groups, County Borough Council officers, Welsh Government officials and conservation organisation CADW.
Work is also proceeding on a separate nationwide study of archive materials relating to Merthyr Tydfil’s development in the 18th and 19th centuries as an iron-making centre of world significance, as well its history in the 20th century. The findings will provide the platform of knowledge on which to base exhibitions in new galleries at Cyfarthfa.