Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre Strategy
Celfwaith was appointed at the end of March 2014 to research and prepare a public art strategy for Merthyr Tydfil town centre. The final strategy was completed at the end of July.
Merthyr Tydfil is a town built on innovation, industry and labour that now has a new
focus as a regional centre for business, the arts, local government, education and health. The rebirth of the Old Town Hall as the Red House provides a focal point for an arts led regeneration and artists can play a major part in that process by helping to change public
perceptions of the town.
Merthyr has seen significant regeneration activity in recent years and in 2014 became the recipient of a major Welsh Government grant through the Vibrant
and Viable Places scheme. The proposals we developed in the strategy are intended to work with the objectives of this
and other schemes to achieve a multi-layered approach to people and place led
Mererid Velios and Simon Fenoulhet, worked with regeneration consultant Chris Jones, and artist Howard Bowcott, to consult, research and prepare the strategy.
As well as one to one meetings with a range of key stakeholders in the arts, heritage, learning and business community, we ran a two day public consultation event in the Shopping Centre, in Merthyr College, and at RedHouse. During the consultation sessions we used a range of tools to gather people's views about public art, themes and subjects, as well as useful information about their opinion of the strengths and weaknesses in the town centre, and how they currently used the town centre during the day and evening.
Our conclusions from the consultation work, together with site analysis and study of existing plans and strategies, led to our proposals.
Part of the brief was also to collate information about existing public art in Merthyr Tydfil town centre and we created a simple database with this information.
The public art strategy formed the basis of an application for funding from the Arts Council of Wales which has been successful and the phase 1 proposals are expected to be implemented in 2015.