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£5.5m Llanelli park plans on hold

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

Parc Howard mansion

Comments (3)

A £5.5 MILLION grant bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to return a Llanelli mansion and park to its former glory has been deferred.

The Parc Howard Association has been working with Carmarthenshire Council on the bid, which should have been submitted this month.

But the bid will now be made to the Heritage Parks for People Fund in August to help to allow more discussion on the final plans. The decision came after Old Road residents started a petition to remove plans for a car park in the Llanelli beauty spot.

Pat Morris, leader of the campaign A Park NOT a Car Park, claimed such a facility would be dangerous for schoolchildren who often use the park.

Carmarthenshire Council said it had spent the last year developing a site master plan to make a lasting difference to the park's heritage and ensure its future.

County executive board member for leisure services Meryl Gravell said: "The vision for the park is one that provides the local community and surrounding areas with a facility that conserves the heritage of the park, increases access and understanding of the parks heritage and improves the long-term management and sustainability of such a valuable asset to the town of Llanelli.

"We have deferred the bid because we have only got once chance to get this right, show unity and satisfy the strict criteria set by our potential funders.

"These are challenging financial times for all authorities.

"Non-statutory services, which includes museums and parks under the umbrella of leisure, are low on the scale of priority behind education health and social care.

"For this reason we have to be innovative, bold and ambitious with help of all partners like the association to bid for funding opportunities to achieve our mutual dream.

"This is an exciting opportunity for the park. The bid, if successful, will ensure that Parc Howard continues to be enjoyed by residents of Llanelli and the surrounding areas for years to come."

The blueprint includes tea rooms, a restored bandstand and audience amphitheatre and a children's Splash pad.

Mrs Morris, a great-grandmother, said: "So far, only two men and one woman refused to sign my petition.

"I collected nearly 550 names in one week myself from, my neighbours, two local schools and local businesses like Dyfed Steel."

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  • Dan01  |  February 19 2013, 5:31PM

    It is a grand building and park, but before long half of Llanelli's properties will be listed buildings. Llanelli House in the town centre is another upon which millions have or are being spent. The old (not so old) theatre and cinema is another thats been listed and in need of maintenance. The town is full of run down empty churches, all listed. Yet Llanelli has one of the areas with greatest deprivation in Wales, and probably not far off the UK top twenty list. I am not against retaining some significant buildings of historical interest for the benefit of future generations, but the needs of the people of today is so much greater.

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  • weslangdon  |  February 19 2013, 4:24PM

    You are being too harsh; Parc Howard is easy walking distance of much of Llanelli and its very nice spot to wander around or to let your children play in. It would though be useful to know what the £5.5 million is for and how did it get to need such a large sum if it were being properly looked after. If it's for basic maintenance and up keep, the present custodians may not be doing their job properly and may not have been doing the job properly for quite some time. Perhaps Llanelli town council could run it better.[only joking]

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  • Dan01  |  February 19 2013, 3:15PM

    Amazing how much money is swilling around in the coffers for white elephant projects. What benefit will the restoration of this monstrosity bring to the poor, the unemployed and all suffering from the effects of 'austerity'. Projects like this should come from supporters own pockets, who invariably, are loaded anyway.

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