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