The numbers of people visiting Haverfordwest’s cultural hub are higher than anticipated with its first year target already reached in eight months.
Glan-yr-Afon on the town’s riverside re-purposed a former market building to house a new library, gallery, coffee shop and play area in an ambitious £4 million project.
Head of culture, leisure, tourism and registration services Mike Cavanagh told the services overview and scrutiny committee on Tuesday (September 17) that the 200,000 visitor target already stood at 202,000.
He added that there were around 1,000 visitors a week, meaning there will be approximately 300,000 through the door by the end of the first year.
“This year is an a-typical year, the really test will be do we reach 200,000 in year two,” he add.
A “rocky period” with anti-social behaviour was “dealt with head on” said Cllr Tom Tudor with Mr Cavanagh adding it was “so galling” to provide a service for young people and have it “completely ruined.”
The level of anti-social behaviour had not been expected, the committee heard, but it is also a “wider issue in Haverfordwest.”
The 200,000 target had been called overly ambitious for a town of Hvaerfordwest’s size but draws such as the exhibitions, currently featuring a Turner masterpiece, were proving successful.
“It’s not just an enormous number of visitors but a broad sector of the community.
“It’s a really good news story in terms of performance, it’s been a great success,” said Mr Cavanagh.
The number of new members had risen to more than 3,000 compared to 353 in 2017/18.
The popularity has also resulted in increased footfall to the town with a Riverside Shopping survey showing a ten per cent increase, which it put down to Glan-yr-Afon.
“One of the reasons for putting this cultural centre in the town centre was to do with footfall and town regeneration,” he added.