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Penarth Pavilion Project Wins 1.6m Grant from Heritage Lottery Fund

Penarth Pavilion Team infront of Penarth PierSeafront landmark saved thanks to £1.68m grant from Heritage Lottery Fund

The Pavilion is safe!

Successful HLF bid brings £1.68 million to Penarth Pier Pavilion project

Something big is happening in Penarth. Late last month the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) approved Penarth Arts & Crafts Ltd’s (PACL) grant application for £1.68 million for the renovation of the Penarth Pier Pavilion. This is a watershed event and marks the culmination of several years of project development.

Five years ago the concept of Pavilion refurbishment was taken up by PACL, a local charitable trust, as an exciting venture to further its mission, to ‘preserve for the benefit of the people the historical and architectural heritage found in Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan.’

Working under the banner “Let’s Make it Happen,” Maggie Knight, Project Director, and a team of experts plus volunteers, steadily progressed the project from PACL’s offices in the Washington Buildings on Stanwell Road.

With HLF funding in place, as well as firm commitments from the Vale Council and other funding bodies, the project is now underway. Construction is projected to begin later in the year with a grand opening in the spring of 2013.

A Pavilion for everyone

The fully restored Pavilion will be a state-of-the-art, flexible facility for everyone. It will host a range of activities such as school sessions, and will have a dedicated exhibition area focusing on the area’s maritime heritage. The first floor balcony will be redesigned to create an auditorium for lectures, conferences, and film screenings and a café will overlook the seafront.

The Pavilion will benefit from PACL’s partnerships with a number of groups, including the volunteer organization

Coastwatch’, wildlife sanctuaries and the RSPB. A new observation post will give people the chance to watch birds and other wildlife, with live images linked from cameras located in the Bristol Channel.

Local teacher and mum, Jo Laity said, “ [the Pavilion] is a facility that will certainly benefit the whole community…I plan to be visiting and supporting a variety of environmental and historical projects on offer at the Pavilion with my students but also with my three children.”

Besides families, the Pavilion’s appeal reaches to many other stakeholder groups, including the elderly, youth, and local businesses. Many of Penarth’s senior citizens spent time at the Marina Ballroom, housed in the Pavilion in the 1940s and 1950s.

Judy Mancuso owner of local spa, Ener-Chi said, “the renovated Pavilion will provide tremendous benefits for Penarth. The seafront has been a disgrace for far too long. The Pavilion will encourage visitors and therefore provide opportunities for other businesses and additional employment. It will also give Penarth residents and business owners back a sense of pride – we should have a seafront to be proud of.”

Partnering with the Community

The local community has played, and continues to play, a pivotal role in the Pavilion project, a key criterion for HLF in its decision to fund the project. Dan Clayton Jones, Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for Wales, said, “The project has been led by the community from the start and it’s fantastic to see so many local people continuing to pledge their time and support…to make it a success.”

Community support for the project has ranged from organising fundraising events to registering support via petition. So far, over 10,000 people have signed a petition to save the Pavilion, and as a result of the HLF grant, up to 230 people including staff, volunteers and students will be offered training opportunities.

Jobs will also be created through the project, including positions for an Education and Learning Officer and Pavilion Manager and it is expected that many community members will get involved as volunteers, taking on roles such as heritage visitor guides.

Rhodri Traherne, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, Vale Council, said, “The Pavilion project is a superb example of community-led regeneration which we in the Vale Council are delighted to support. I have no doubt it will make a significant contribution to the economic prosperity of Penarth.”

Vaughan Gething, Assembly member for Cardiff South and Penarth said, “The pier is the jewel in the crown of our seafront. The re-opening will make a huge difference to Penarth and I hope it will kick start further investment on the seafront.”

Learning, youth and schools

The Pavilion will be a particularly beneficial facility for young people and schools. Not only will it provide significant educational opportunities with hands on learning, but the massive multi-purpose central area will be available for school productions, concerts, and demonstrations.

Steve Rees, Head Teacher of Evenlode Primary School said, “I think the fact that the Pavilion is being ‘brought back to life’ will not only heighten children’s awareness of the history of Penarth, but will provide them with a facility offering a wide range of educational and recreational activities in a unique setting.”

The way forward

There is still a lot to be done in order to keep the project moving forward. A community fundraising drive is well underway with a target of £50,000. There will be a variety of events, including the on-going concert series at the Washington Gallery, in the coming months, through which you can show your support.

In addition, the team at PACL welcomes your input, and invites you to get in touch if you wish to help in other ways. Check out the Pavilion website, www.penarthpavilion.co.uk, or contact the Washington Gallery at 029 2071 2100 for further information.

Te: 029 2071 2100

1-3 Washington Buildings, Stanwell Rd, Penarth CF64 2AD


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