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THE redevelopment of the Canolfan at Cyfarthfa Park is progressing at pace, with work on the new café, decking, and outdoor seating completed and ready for alfresco dining in the summer.

The facelift – funded to the tune of around £900,000 as part of Welsh Government’s Valleys Regional Park ‘Discovery Gateways’ programme – is also providing a community meeting space, new toilets and changing rooms at the Splash Pad, a resurfaced play area, and better access through the construction of new paths, steps, and a footbridge.

“We now have a full-service café in the perfect spot for people to pop in for a coffee or food and enjoy the views while their children enjoy playing,” said County Borough Council Head of Regeneration and Housing Chris Long.

“The new layout includes the removal of partitioning walls to provide an open dining area with wood paneling walls and an impressive lighting display, creating a warm and welcoming space.”

The Valleys Regional Park project is seeing more than £6.6m of investment in the 11 Valleys parks and heritage sites named Discovery Gateways, with the intention of using the natural and cultural heritage of the region to generate social, economic, and environmental.

The Cyfarthfa Plan published this year said there was a need to create ‘a visitor experience of a scale and quality that would mark it out as a major national landmark with international appeal, befitting Merthyr’s central contribution to the industrial revolution’.

The Canolfan was built 11 years ago, but access to it has been difficult and the catering opportunities limited.  The redevelopment will provide 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 creation of new toilets and changing provision – including disabled facilities, with a hoist and all the equipment, need to make change possible for disabled people – is seen as a priority not only for peak season in the summer but also to accommodate local families and visitors attending high profile events held in the park all year round.

The County Borough Council is working in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Trust (Wellbeing@Merthyr) to deliver the project, and the work is being carried out by Cardiff-based Willis Construction.

Jane Sellwood of the Leisure Trust said: Jane Sellwood of the Leisure Trust said:

“We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the Canolfan and play area with longer opening hours, a new menu, and some firm favourites.

“It will be a real bonus to see all the work completed and will make the visitor experience so much better to have new and improved toilet facilities on-site and a much needed changing place so that everyone can enjoy an amazing day out in our fabulous Park.”

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