Thursday 28 May 2015
Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism has today (28 May 2015) unveiled artists’ impressions showing how new luxury accommodation will look when it opens in the shadows of one of its most popular historic sites later this summer, and is calling on the people of Wales to help name the new apartments!
Harlech Castle, which collectively forms a UNESCO World Heritage Site with King Edward I’s other architectural masterpieces – Conwy, Beaumaris and Caernarfon castles – will give visitors a unique chance to sleep near one of the few sites in Wales to hold the notable accolade.
Part of a wider £6.0m project which aims to improve Harlech Castle and the surrounding area’s heritage tourism offer, the accommodation is nearing completion and will be open to the public from August 2015. The work has been funded through the Heritage Tourism Project, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and led by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service.
Renovated from a former hotel that was built near the 13th century site, the ground floor has been fully-transformed into a modern visitor centre, while the first and second floors have been turned into five luxury apartments, each sleeping up to two people.
The Welsh Government has worked closely with North Wales contractors R L Davies and Dee Bentham, a local interior designer on the interior furnishing of the apartments. Soft furnishings are being made to order locally or sourced from local businesses in Harlech and Barmouth.
Mr Skates said he is keen to name the apartments in accordance with their connection to Harlech’s rich history, and is calling on the people of Wales to help by sending in their suggestions by 26 June 2015 to Cadw’s Facebook page.
Mr Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism said: “The aim of this project has been to enhance the overall visitor experience at Harlech Castle, while creating another income stream to ensure the sustainable future of this culturally-important site.
“Across Wales, our historic environment supports more than 30,000 jobs and contributes more than £840 million to Wales’s economy each year, so it’s vital that we continually improve the heritage tourism offer to attract even more visitors. “With 45% of visitors from the rest of the UK citing our historic properties* as their reason for visiting Wales, providing amenities that support a unique and outstanding heritage attraction, is only going to add to the area’s appeal.
“The development provides a collection of luxurious self catering or catered apartments for two, or groups from two to ten, will complement the current providers in the area, which cater mainly for families and groups. Harlech Castle’s apartments reflect Visit Wales’s wider Tourism Strategy and are sure to strengthen the tourism offer in north-west Wales as a whole.”
The development of a cluster of high quality single bedroom self-catering apartments will complement the current providers in the area, which cater mainly for families and groups. Harlech Castle’s apartments reflect Visit Wales’s wider Tourism Strategy and are sure to strengthen the tourism offer in north-west Wales as a whole.”
The extensive refurbishment work, which also includes a visitor café, improved interpretation and the instalment of the new Harlech bridge was funded by the Heritage Tourism Project (HTP). The HTP, which launched in 2009, has supported more than 40 historic sites across Wales, working in partnership with various heritage bodies to deliver improvements to interpretation, physical access and even involving the local arts communities in bringing the sites to life for visitors.
The aim of HTP is to increase the number, length and value of visits to heritage sites in Wales, opening up Wales’s heritage to a wider audience by making it more enjoyable both for visitors and residents.
To help Cadw name the new apartments and for a chance to win a luxury break, visit Cadw’s Facebook page. Closing date for entries is 26 June 2015. To book your stay at the apartments from August 2015 visit www.menaiholidays.co.uk/home or call 01248 430258.