AN IDEA to create more space for events at Pontypridd’s Ynysangharad War Memorial Park is being considered.
A report to cabinet on Monday, May 15 mentions a potential redevelopment opportunity for an event space within the park, which will support major events.
A feasibility report on the potential to introduce an events space at the large green area near the bridge fromLlys Cadwyn has been produced and the proposal is for the upper plateau of the former pitch and putt course to be flattened to make a more useable green space which can be used for events.
It is also proposed that new footways and seating areas be introduced with the area under consideration previously being the site of a pitch and putt golf course and later used for footgolf.
The report said it has not been formally used for some time and currently offers little amenity value due to the undulating topography designed for golf.
It added that the space has the potential for an events area and community gatherings that can be enjoyed by all whilst retaining as much usable green space as possible.
The report said: “Establishing this space is essential to expand the existing facilities to host large events within the park and provide an additional option to avoid disrupting the regular users of the park when events take place.”
The report said that every effort has been made to maintain the maximum amount of green space and that further work will be done as part of the detailed design stage to ensure that the loss of any trees is also minimised.
The current design thinking is that any trees lost, if any, would be those smaller
trees that form part of the golf course and not any of the mature trees that are around the main footways.
It said a thorough assessment of any tree affected will form part of the detailed design process and proposals for additional tree planting will also be developed as part of the design.
The proposed design has the potential to be completed by the summer of 2024 but the design and tendering process must be started by late summer 2023 to ensure a timely start on site in the autumn of 2023, the report said.
As it is proposed that the upper plateau will be levelled and re-seeded to allow it to be used as a temporary event space, this will need a settling-in period before it can be used.
Once the detailed design is complete an assessment can be done around what planning and related consents, if any, are needed.
It is also proposed to consult with the public once detailed design proposals become available.
It is currently estimated that the proposed works would cost around £249,000 and the council report said that the Visit Wales Brilliant Basics Fund is a potential funding source.
The report said that the purpose of Brilliant Basics is to deliver basic small-scale tourism infrastructure improvements across all of Wales to ensure that visitors have a positive and memorable experience throughout all aspects of their stay.
The Brilliant Basics Fund is capital-only, and grants are available up to a maximum of £300,000 with a maximum intervention rate of 80%.
The remaining 20% would be met from existing regeneration investment budgets.
The 2023/24 round of funding is currently open with a deadline for the submission of formal applications being June 1, 2023.
Cabinet members will be asked to authorise officers to proceed with its further development and submit a formal application for funding to the Visit Wales Brilliant Basics Programme.
Councillor Mark Norris, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s cabinet member for development and prosperity, said: “Ynysangharad War Memorial Park is a wonderful landmark much-loved by residents in Pontypridd and visitors from further afield, and regularly hosts a range of events held by the Council and other organisations.
“Our annual events include the Big Welsh Bite, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, and Remembrance Parade and Service – and establishing an event space would provide a dedicated area within the park for such events, allowing more people to enjoy what’s on offer.
“The proposals would also provide local communities with a useable green space and would help reduce disruption to regular users of the park when an event is taking place.
“There is an identified opportunity via Visit Wales to receive grant funding to establish the event space. Cabinet will consider all of these factors on May 15, and will decide whether to progress the proposals.
“At the centre of what is being proposed is understanding the importance of maintaining the area as a green space, and to protect the ecology of the area, with our Climate Change responsibilities firmly in mind.
“The detailed design phase would thoroughly consider preserving the environment where possible, and identify suitable mitigation measures such as additional tree planting where it is not possible.
“The Cabinet report that will be considered on Monday notes that the space could potentially be completed by the summer season of 2024, if the design and tendering process gets underway this summer. These timescales would also align with the appropriate planting seasons, as the area of the new event space would need to be re-seeded following initial landscaping work.”