Merthyr Tydfil Council tender for £50m revamp of Cyfarthfa Castle

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is seeking a design team for a £50 million revamp of Cyfarthfa Castle and its 77-hectare park.

The council is recruiting consultants to prepare a strategic masterplan for the visitor attraction based on the town’s pivotal role in the industrial revolution.

The tender, which envisages a 12-month masterplanning exercise, reads: “Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (MTCBC) is seeking to appoint a design-led team to produce a visionary and exemplary strategic masterplan for the development of the cultural, industrial heritage and landscape assets of the Cyfarthfa Estate and other heritage assets in Merthyr Tydfil.”

Cyfarthfa Estate plans include:

  • Develop a modern interpretive centre to showcase Merthyr’s standing as the world’s largest centre of iron production in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • A visitor attraction combining historical narrative and visual spectacle, using the latest technologies and CGI to create immersive displays.
  • Upgrade the existing Cyfarthfa Park and the area west of the River Taff stretching from the Crawshay furnaces to the Cefn Coed-y-Cymmer viaduct – giving Merthyr an open space that could function as a major venue for open air events.
  • The design of a new museum/exhibition centre adjacent to the castle.

Chief executive of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Gareth Chapman, said (via Wales Online): “The publication of this tender is a crucially important milestone on the road to realising our ambitious vision for Cyfarthfa and the whole town.

“We are determined that this will be a project of the highest quality.  I hope it will engage the interest of the best talents in the country and beyond to help us reach our goal.”

‘Capturing public imagination’

Design Commission for Wales Chief Executive, Carole-Anne Davies, stated: “Merthyr Tydfil has every reason to expect quality and creativity of an international standard. Cyfarthfa and its environs have a history of globally significant innovation.

“There is every opportunity to recast that history with renewed ambition, to capture public imagination and galvanise new visitors to Merthyr Tydfil and the wider region.”

Consultant to the Design Commission, Geraint Talfan Davies, added: “We have to ensure that a scheme of this magnitude and scope is built on the surest foundations.

“This masterplan exercise will enable us to assess the potential of all the pieces in the jigsaw so that, together, they can do justice to the importance of Merthyr Tydfil’s story and excite future generations.”

Zip World in South Wales

In February, Zip World revealed the site of its new adventure park in South Wales – its first attraction outside of North Wales.

Blooloop previously spoke to Zip World co-founder Sean Taylor about the company’s community-minded business model that is breathing new life into one of Britain’s most deprived areas.

Image: Cyfarthfa Park