Unavailability of construction materials numerous unforeseen complications on site and backlogs due to the pandemic means that the £900,000 redevelopment of the Canolfan at Cyfarthfa Park will not be completed until the autumn.
Similar problems are affecting the play area and Splash Pad, and their reopening will also be delayed until late September and next year respectively.
The refurbishment is being funded as part of Welsh Government’s Valleys Regional Park ‘Discovery Gateways’ programme. It will see the creation of a community meeting space at the Canolfan, along with new toilets and changing rooms at the Splash Pad, a resurfaced play area and better access to the site through the construction of new paths, steps and a footbridge.
Contractors Willis Construction have had to dig up the Splash Pad foundations and remove the play equipment and have it assessed and reinstalled by a specialist company. Due to summer being the busiest time of year for wet play equipment installers, backlogs in their orders have resulted in further delays.
“We understand how disappointed residents will be – as are the Council and Leisure Trust – but delays have been experienced on each of the elements and a longer closure is unavoidable for health and safety reasons at the very least,” said Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transformation and Commercialisation Cllr Geraint
“Willis Construction are working hard to complete the contract as quickly and effectively as possible, and the quality of their workmanship is outstanding – it’s particularly frustrating given that the interior of the Canolfan is finished and looks amazing,” he added.
“But people’s safety, and particularly that of children, is of paramount importance. We can assure you the wait will be worth it.”
[email protected] Chief Executive Jane Sellwood: “We were all looking forward to a summer reopening, but the pandemic situation has adversely affected many building projects over the past year.
“The completed facilities will be a wonderful enhancement of our already fabulous Park, and as soon as we can welcome the public back, we will. In the meantime, the Tearooms in the Castle are now open again, so visitors can enjoy refreshments there.
“We also have several exciting events such as Beauty and The Beast and drive-in cinema coming up over the summer for families to enjoy. Our museum has reopened and we encourage people to follow our social media pages to keep up to date with all events, activities and workshops taking place there as well.”
The Valleys Regional Park project is investing more than £6.6m in the 11 Valleys parks and heritage sites named as Discovery Gateways.
The redevelopment of the Canolfan will see its poor access improved, along with increased opportunities for event catering and children’s parties, provision of picnic hampers, and mobile catering to service areas of the park such as the lake and Pandy Field.
The new toilets and changing provision will have disabled facilities including a hoist and other equipment to make changing easier for disabled people.