GKR Delivers £2.5 Million Pontypridd Park Restoration Project Prior to National Eisteddfod
08 Jul

Over the last three years, GKR Maintenance and Building Co Ltd has carried out significant phased regeneration works worth £2.5 million on behalf of Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd.

Designated Grade II on the Cadw/Icomos Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales, the park was established in 1919 by Pontypridd residents. It features a War Memorial, as well as statues of Evan and James James (the father and son composers of the iconic Welsh National Anthem).

GKR's works included establishing Calon Taf, a community training facility with a greenhouse and garden range, planting and landscaping, and extensive repairs to the sunken garden. The historic bandstand, which features Victorian iron railings and a conical red tiled roof, complete with a replica of the original weathervane, was also restored. All pathways were resurfaced, lighting was upgraded throughout, and a disused public toilet block was converted into a new welfare building to accommodate the Park Maintenance Team.

It was crucial that the renovations were in keeping with the original 1920’s plans so they would be congruent with their surroundings. Original materials were salvaged and restored where possible, including the removal, sand blasting, and replacement of the original cast iron down pipes and hopper heads on the welfare building.

The phased works were carried out in time for the National Eisteddfod of Wales 2024, the largest cultural festival in Europe that travels around Wales showcasing Welsh arts, language, and culture. Rhondda Cynon Taf will host the festival from 3 to 10 August, and it is anticipated that more than 150,000 visitors will attend.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment & Leisure at RCTCBC said, “We’re thankful for all the work undertaken by GKR to improve and enhance the much loved Ynysangharad War Memorial Park. These new features add further reason for our residents and visitors to soak up the beauty of the park and enjoy all it has to offer. The new Calon Taf building is architecturally striking yet blends into the existing surroundings as if it’s always been there, and it’s fantastic that we have been able to bring the disused toilet block into a functional and useful space. The Victorian bandstand has been restored to its former glory, and will continue to be a focal point for decades to come. We continue to invest in our parks and green spaces for the benefit of our residents, and I can’t wait to see the park take centre stage when the Eisteddfod comes to town from August 3.”

Graham Rowlands, Director of GKR Maintenance and Building Co Ltd, said of the programme: “We are proud to have been involved in the regeneration works within Ynysangharad Park, the delivery of which was overseen by GKR’s Andrew Natt and Kerry McCarthy and their teams. Going forward, residents and visitors can enjoy the environment and celebrate the park’s history during the Eisteddfod and long into the future.”

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