Cardiff Students Seek Solutions to Llandovery’s Deepening Plight
Update January 30th 2016
A glint of positive news — the idea to move Ysgol Rhys Prichard primary school to the vacated Ysgol Gyfun Pantycelyn comprehensive school is supported in principle by Carmarthenshire County Council’s chief executive, Mark James, reports The Post in the February 2016 issue (p.23). Handel Davies, chair of the campaign group ‘Future of Pantycelyn’, has wide backing for the proposal, including from Llandovery Town Council, and the headteacher and governors of Ysgol Rhys Prichard.
The plan includes selling the Rhys Prichard site –ideally for an employment-creating purpose — and using the proceeds to adapt the Pantycelyn premises for younger pupils.
Pantycelyn has all sorts of features often lacking from primary schools — big hall, sports field, specialist classrooms and laboratories, gymnasium, swimming pool adjacent — which could help to bring back young families to the town.
Llandovery’s decline, and how to reverse it, is a case study for architecture students from Cardiff University, who were in the town yesterday (Thursday) to present their initial, individual ideas. The separation of the castle from the town was a repeat theme, requiring improvement with the help of a little demolition or even major redevelopment, as in one plan which imagines retail relocations into what is now the car park, bowling green and tennis courts. Or how about garden sharing — a scheme for elderly folk to offer gardens for others to cultivate, and share the produce, as part of a scheme to make Llandovery an exemplar of sustainable living.
Mock historic façades, to make the town more spectacular and memorable during the annual Sheep Festival, are featured in one zany, imaginative plan. Making much more of a feature of the Welsh language; holding more matches on the Llandovery College rugby pitch and building stands there with a total of 500 seats; linking Garden Lane to Broad Street with two pedestrian pathways; and creating an arts centre are also among the suggestions.
As the students depart to develop their projects, the Llandovery they leave behind is really suffering.
The students will be back with their finished proposals: here’s hoping that funds will be available to implement those schemes which impress local people as likely restorers of vitality and sparkle.