Options for castle

First published in News

A top notch restaurant, heritage centre, self catering accommodation - these are just some of the ideas being put forward for the future of Cardigan Castle.

A three day exhibition detailing the work of the feasibility study commissioned by Cadwgan Trust is set to open at the Guildhall Gallery, Cardigan, on Wednesday, March 21.

That evening there will be a public meeting to air views on the possible future uses of the site.

The consultants employed by Cadwgan Trust, Bristol-based architects Niall Phillips, have spent the past few months consulting authorities, organisations and individuals to find out what future uses would work best.

Cadwgan Trust chairman Jann Tucker said: "Nothing has yet been set in stone.

"What we see here are possible future uses of the castle. We want feedback from the public to see what their feelings are. The favoured option will then be worked up into a more concrete scheme for the castle's future."

One theme remains constant throughout all the options - creating a public garden in the castle grounds and removing the ugly metal stanchions propping up the walls.

Whatever happens, in order to be sustainable, the castle has to house a variety of mixed uses.

Other options include: Turning the Green Street cottages - currently offices - into a heritage centre/museum with gift shop and cafe.

Creating a Welsh language centre in Castle Green House.

Commercial uses for 43 St Mary Street and the stable buildings to generate revenue for the site's upkeep.

Self catering holiday accommodation in Castle Green House.

A top class destination' restaurant in Castle Green House - on similar lines to the Harbourmaster in Aberaeron.

Another option puts the restaurant in the cottages, with the main house given over to heritage and learning.

Cadwgan is also investigating an option of mothballing the house for the forseeable future and concentrating on the walls and outside buildings first.

Many options - such as creating a centre celebrating the National Eisteddfod - have had to be ruled out at an early stage for different reasons.

The public will be given their opportunity to comment on the proposals throughout the three-day exhibition.

Members of the consultancy team and Cadwgan Trust will be on hand in the Guildhall Gallery to answer any questions.

And castle officer David Maynard will be running guided tours of the castle for each of the three days starting at 2pm.

The public meeting - which will be hosted by Cadwgan Trust with Niall Phillips and his team - will be at Bethania Chapel vestry on Wednesday night at 7pm.

"We want as many people to give us their views as possible," said Mrs Tucker.

"The future of the castle is important to all of us, but it has to be a future that is viable and sustainable."

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