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Ynysangharad War Memorial Park secures significant funding

Ynysangharad War Memorial Park. Credit: RCT Council

Ynysangharad War Memorial Park is set to undergo a significant improvement programme, after the Council received confirmation that the Stage 2 application to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the Heritage or Communities project has been approved.

The funding awarded will improve and rejuvenate the heritage features of the Grade II listed Ynysangharad War Memorial Park (YWMP), help to develop audiences, and provide much-needed opportunities for community participation, learning and engagement.

A combined total of £1.9 million has been awarded – consisting of funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Welsh Government, along with further contributions from the Council. It will enable the exciting project to deliver following improvements:

  • A new training/activity centre – Canolfan Calon Taf
  •  Refurbishment of the bandstand area
  • Refurbishment of the rock outcrop area above the bank adjacent to the Lido
  • Refurbishment of the sunken garden area
  • New signage and interpretation
  • An activity plan to encourage community involvement during and following works delivery

The project will commence in January 2021 and it is anticipated that contractors will be on-site during the Spring of 2021, with physical works completed in early 2022.

The element of the project delivering community activities and engagement will be funded via The National Lottery Heritage Fund until 2024 and will form the building blocks to attract different audiences, opportunities and interest in Ynysangharad War Memorial Park long after the project ends.

This project follows a recent approval from Welsh Government’s Valleys Regional Park Programme for improvements within the Park to the pathways and lighting, as well as the provision of a changing place facility within the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty building when it re-opens, following the significant damage sustained as a result of Storm Dennis earlier this year. £885,000 has been awarded via this element of the funding and works will commence in early January 2021 lasting until early Spring. Residents and users of the Park are advised that this work will cause some disruption.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services,said: “The announcement that significant funding has been awarded via a combination of National Heritage Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government’s Valleys Regional Park for the Council to progress a range of improvements at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park is warmly welcomed.

“Despite the challenges of 2020, firstly through the devastating flood damage caused by Storm Dennis, and then the close-following of the COVID-19 national emergency, this news will, I’m sure, come as a welcome boost for the Park in enabling the delivery of a range of new and improved facilities.

“The development of the Canolfan Calon Taf activity centre will ensure long-term benefits for residents and visitors to the Park by providing a focal point from which community activities and training can be provided.

“These funding approvals provide a much-needed boost following the devastating impacts of Storm Dennis earlier this year and I look forward to seeing works progressing over the coming months.”

Andrew White, Director of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, said: “2020 has been a particularly difficult year for the people of Pontypridd and Rhondda Cynon Taf from the devastating floods to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Many of us have become more aware of the importance of parks and green spaces to our wellbeing during this time.

“For almost 100 years, Ynysangharad War Memorial Park has been a haven for generations of local people and visitors who have enjoyed its many attractions from the beautiful gardens and sports facilities, to the magnificent Lido which reopened in 2015 and was partly funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

“The Park itself was paid for by local workers who raised the money to provide a relaxing space that townspeople could enjoy. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we are going to be able to preserve this important site and its heritage for the benefit of current and future generations.”