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Merthyr Tydfil Politics South Wales

Phase two of Merthyr Tydfil YMCA building renovation completed

The Former Ymca Building In Merthyr Tydfil (Pic: Google Maps)

THE OLD YMCA building in Merthyr Tydfil has been stabilised and made completely watertight with the latest phase of renovation complete.

A council report said that phase two of the renovation of the old YMCA building in Pontmorlais is now finished.

Works at the Grade II listed building, which has been derelict for more than two decades, have included timber lintels being exchanged for new concrete lintels, the rebuilding of the north section of the building, with timber floors and walls to support the new temporary roof, the partial rebuilds of retaining walls, ground anchors installed to secure loose/weak external ground and Cintec anchors installed to strengthen the external brick walls.

It has also seen the existing temporary roof replaced with a new, longer-lasting temporary roof, new brick work to the top of the building, terracotta repairs to preserve the existing terracotta blocks, the building has been completely repointed and treated to reduce the risk of vegetation regrowing, a new metal railing fence has been installed to match the existing wall memorial and the promenade has been reinstated for public use.

Phase one was completed in 2014 as part of the THI Programme (Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme), a programme with the objective of bringing historic, derelict buildings in Pontmorlais back into use, funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Cadw.

Phase three will consist of a re-reassessment of the future use of the building followed by the completion of the works once a suitable use is agreed.

The YMCA, was identified as a key project within the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places (VVP) Programme working in partnership with Cambrian Heritage Regeneration Trust (CHRT) to redevelop the historic at risk building into a viable business.

The YMCA Project through CHRT was due to secure Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) in September 2016, which would enable the release of the VVP allocation for the renovation on the Grade II listed Building.

But the stage two grant was not awarded by HLF due to a number of risks, and this meant the VVP Grant could not be awarded as it was match funding.

Discussions were held with Welsh Government about an alternative use for the VVP funding and it was agreed a loan scheme would be developed to provide local businesses with short term finance to increase jobs, increase visitor numbers, reduce the number of vacant, underutilised and redundant sites and premises in Merthyr Tydfil town centre and to support the diversification of the town centre by encouraging more sustainable uses for empty sites and premises.

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The loan scheme was approved for delivery for a three-year period between 2017 and 2020. In this period three vacant properties were brought back into use.