The Cyfarthfa Foundation, the charity set up to transform Cyfarthfa Castle and Park into an international cultural and heritage destination, is asking local residents and community groups to help it decide how to prioritise future plans.
Participants in a survey are being offered the opportunity to win a £50 gift voucher, and to also take part in drop-in consultation sessions in four Merthyr Tydfil venues on April 18 and 19.
The Foundation has been approached by Welsh Government to enter a competition for the Castle to become the possible ‘anchor site’ of a new National Contemporary Art Gallery for Wales.
The survey aims to find out how local residents and community organisations currently feel about the site and its possible future as a location for a Gallery.
“Cyfarthfa Castle and Park have played a huge role in the history and heritage of Merthyr Tydfil,” said Foundation Chair Geraint Talfan Davies. “It’s been a place of industry with the ironworks, as well as a school, a museum, a park, a place to explore, to find out about nature and even make art.
“But the building is now in poor repair and the Foundation was set up to help Merthyr Tydfil secure the future of this important site and its beautiful green spaces.”
The Foundation is progressing the Cyfarthfa Masterplan, which was developed by Ian Ritchie Associates to support the regeneration of the Cyfarthfa site.
The original consultation process was disrupted by Covid-19, and the plan is now being reviewed ‘with the people who live and work in the region and to help decide which projects should be prioritised’.
A link to the survey can be found here, should only take 10 minutes to complete and will run until 14 April.
Council Leader and Foundation member Cllr Geraint Thomas said: “We’d also love our residents to come and tell us what they think over a cup of tea at one of the drop-in consultation sessions. We’d like to know what historic and current stories about Cyfarthfa are important to them; what are the most significant objects in the town’s archives; and how they want to be involved in making the plan happen.
“Additionally, if successful the new Gallery could bring with it significant opportunities to the town and the people of Merthyr Tydfil,” Cllr Thomas added. “It’s really important that the application to the Welsh Government is put together in consultation with those who live here.”
The drop-in events will take place on the following days and times:
Tuesday 18 April
TREHARRIS LIBRARY HUB, 11AM-1PM
Treharris Community Centre, Perrott Street, Treharris CF46 5ET
ABERFAN COMMUNITY LIBRARY, 2PM-5PM
Aberfan Community Centre, Pantglas Road, Aberfan CF48 4QE
Wednesday 19 April
DOWLAIS LIBRARY, 2PM-5PM
Church Street, Dowlais CF48 3HS
MERTHYR TYDFIL LIBRARY, 6PM-9PM
High Street, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8AF