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£50m industrial heritage visitor attraction planned for Wales


An industrial heritage visitor attraction at a castle in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, is being planned and will tell the story of the town, which was the largest producer of iron in the world in the 1800s.

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is currently seeking out a team of consultants to prepare a strategic masterplan for the visitor attraction at Cyfarthfa Castle and its surrounding 77-hectare park.

The castle, which was once the home of the Crawshay family – whose ironmaking business helped Merthyr Tydfil become such an important industrial hub – was suggested as the venue in the Crucible Report by the Design Commission for Wales following a design charrette procedure in 2017. 

More than 60 people, including design specialists, museum and heritage experts and community organisations, brainstormed on the charette and led to the report suggesting around £50m (US$65.6m, €57.9m) worth of investment would be necessary to make the project happen.

“The publication of this tender is a crucially important milestone on the road to realising our ambitious vision for Cyfarthfa and the whole town,” said Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council CEO Gareth Chapman.

“We are determined that this will be a project of the highest quality. I hope it will engage the interest of the best talents in the country and beyond to help us reach our goal.”

The Crucible Report, meanwhile, stated: "The town’s rich store of heritage assets offers a unique opportunity to achieve the coherence and impact that Merthyr deserves. 

“With bold vision, those assets could yet stamp themselves on the public consciousness in a way that befits the town as a place of regional, national and international significance.”

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