Establish a Glamorgan Great War Centenary Centre - possibly in the unused Barry Island Tourist Information Centre building

The Great War was the first mechanised war, with destruction on a massive scale.  The war changed British society forever.  Despite only having been a town for around 30 years, Barry lost around 750 men during the Great War, the names of which are inscribed on the wall at the Memorial Hall. 

Last year I asked the Vale Council if we could use the former Barry Tourist Information Centre building in which to create a Great War Commemorative Centre.  Through a letter to our MP, Alun Cairns we were advised that the future use of the building will be the ‘subject of a cabinet report in the near future’.

A year later and the Council owned building remains unused, despite being in a prime location for a tourist attraction.

With the Centenary of the outbreak of the Great War now being only six months away, Barry at War have once again requested the loan of the building for the five year period of the Great War Centenary.

We propose to create the facility using funding for Great War Centenary projects that is available from the Heritage Lottery, supported by the Section 106 money that will be paid to the Vale Council by the developers of the Pumping House, the use of which has been agreed withh developers in a behind closed doors deal.

However, this is actually a gift horse, as this will attract 'section 106' money, which is a % of the deal that developers must pay to the Council for use on community projects.

Our proposal would turn the unused Barry Tourist Information Centre building into a facility where local people can come to research their Great War Heritage.  The facility would also act as a support hub for Great War projects across the Vale, and through interactive exhibits and distplays it will educate people about the Great War.

Our tiny Glamorgan Wartime Heritage Centre  has proven that there is a need for such a centre, and that it is capable of attracting all weather, all season tourism to the Island, and Barry itself.

The Barry Tourist Information Centre building is one option, although there are other suitable venues in Barry - including creating a suitable sized area in Barry Library.

This is our story in the Barry & District News.

Jack Corner Feb 14, 2014

Yes, what a great idea. This deserves support. The next four years will be full of anniversarys of the Great War. It will be very much in the public eye. People will be interested in what Barry and it's people did during these dark times

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