Fi­nal phase of £1.4m project to turn hall into com­mu­nity hub

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­

A HIS­TORIC build­ing in Llantrisant will re­open as a state-of-the-art her­itage and vis­i­tors cen­tre by the end of next sum­mer, it is hoped.

The £1.4m trans­for­ma­tion of the town’s Guild­hall is reach­ing its fi­nal phase, with works, which were given the go-ahead in Jan­uary 2015, now 75% com­plete.

It is hoped when it opens, the build­ing – which was pre­vi­ously a mar­ket hall, court room, po­lice cells and school – will be­come cen­tral to the com­mu­nity once more.

Now the build­ing’s ex­te­rior has been com­pleted, Llantrisant Town Trust is rais­ing a fur­ther £300,000 to com­plete the in­te­rior fol­lowed by a to­tal ex­hi­bi­tion fit out.

Once com­pleted, the new her­itage and vis­i­tor cen­tre will house state-ofthe-art ex­hi­bi­tion space, a re­search and IT suite for ge­neal­ogy stud­ies, his­toric arte­facts, doc­u­men­ta­tion and pho­to­graphs.

With events, work­shops and ex­hi­bi­tions, it is hoped it will cre­ate a “ma­jor com­mu­nity hub”, bring­ing more vis­i­tors in while also pro­vid­ing a fa­cil­ity for lo­cal peo­ple.

This week, Pon­typridd’s MP Owen Smith and AM Mick An­toniw joined Rhondda Cynon Taf coun­cil leader An­drew Mor­gan for a tour of the build­ing.

Mr An­toniw said: “It has been fan­tas­tic to work closely with the trust over the last few years and in par­tic­u­lar to help se­cure fund­ing for this im­por­tant and ex­cit­ing project. I’m sup­port­ing the trus­tees in their fi­nal push to com­pete this project, which will pro­vide a unique com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity to be en­joyed by the peo­ple of Llantrisant and be­yond.”

Of­fi­cials in Llantrisant be­lieve Guild­hall can now be­come cen­tral to the com­mu­nity of Llantrisant once again by boost­ing the lo­cal econ­omy.

Owned by the Freemen of Llantrisant and man­aged by the Town Trust, the 14th cen­tury court house is be­ing re­stored to its Geor­gian style, when it was re­built in 1773. A large ex­ten­sion has been built to in­stall a lift to en­sure full dis­abil­ity ac­cess to both floors, to­gether with a toilet and boiler room.

They added that the en­tire Grade-II listed build­ing has been re­stored to the “very high­est con­ser­va­tion stan­dards”. The main floor has been re­built, and ex­ten­sive tim­ber re­pairs car­ried out to the roof struc­ture.

New and re­fur­bished win­dows and doors have been in­stalled, and the ex­te­rior walls and porch have been com­pletely re­paired and ren­o­vated.

The large me­dieval chim­ney has been re­built to its orig­i­nal height, and the roof com­pleted in new Welsh slate. Much of the in­ter­nal work has also been com­pleted, com­pris­ing com­pre­hen­sive waterproofing, par­ti­tion­ing, un­der­floor heat­ing, and first fix electrics.

Mr Smith said: “It’s fan­tas­tic to see the Guild­hall’s ex­te­rior work com­pleted and I want to con­grat­u­late the Town Trust and all those who’ve worked so hard to get us to this point.

“We need to press on now with the fi­nal stage and get the in­side fit­ted out as soon as pos­si­ble. The Trust can con­tinue to count on my full sup­port and I will do all I can to get the project over the line.”

The fi­nal phase of fundrais­ing of around £300,000 will al­low con­trac­tors to fit ceil­ings, plas­ter and paint, fit the kitchen and toi­lets, com­plete the elec­tri­cal, plumb­ing and drainage work, in­stall the lift, as well as fi­nal floor fin­ishes.

High spec­i­fi­ca­tion se­cu­rity cab­i­nets and a full ex­hi­bi­tion dis­play will also be in­stalled on both floors.

The Trust has also com­mis­sioned a full-size man­nequin of a Welsh long­bow­man dressed in the uni­form worn at the Bat­tle of Crecy.

The £1.4m trans­for­ma­tion of the Guild­hall in Llantrisant is nearly com­plete

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