Ambitious bid to transform park for future
MULTI-MILLION pound plans have been drawn up to regenerate one of Llanelli's treasured parks.
Carmarthenshire Council and the Parc Howard Association are working on a bid for Heritage Lottery funding worth £5.5 million to develop the park and grounds, which were handed over to the people of Llanelli 100 years ago.
The blueprint includes tea rooms, a restored bandstand and audience amphitheatre, memorial walks, a wetland and wild meadow, upgraded public facilities and improved vehicle access and car parking.
If funding is approved, the house could also become available as a bridal mansion with banqueting facilities and bedroom suites, while the upper floor museum would be upgraded.
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Executive board member for regeneration and leisure Meryl Gravell said that in such challenging financial times, the council needed to be "innovative, bold and ambitious". "There is huge potential for weddings to be staged in Palladian grandeur in glorious parkland at Parc Howard, melding with the creative vision of the association to restore many of the fading historic features there," she added.
"Any bride would be thrilled to have the unique bijou wedding experience of an exclusive dream home at Parc Howard for 24 hours."
In September 1912, Parc Howard was gifted to the people of Llanelli by Sir Stafford and Lady Howard, and the museum and grounds are now owned and managed by the council, which has spent £212,000 in the past two years to renovate the grade two listed mansion house.
Association chairman Ken Rees said: "I can think of no better centenary birthday present for Parc Howard than to embark on this exciting journey to help return the park to its former glory for the people and children of Llanelli and greater enjoyment of the people of Carmarthenshire."
Secretary Barbara Willis, described the development and regeneration plans as "ambitious", adding: "Parc Howard is one of Llanelli's greatest assets and also one of its secrets.
"It needs to appeal to a wider audience with additional amenities within the park and suitable external signage to advertise its presence.
"Our wish now is that the grant bids will be successful giving Parc Howard life for the next 100 years with a management portfolio to enable it to provide pleasure and respite for its many thousands of visitors."
100 Years of Parc Howard — don't miss our eight-page supplement inside this week's Star.