What are you doing to preserve our heritage ? Convert the Barry Island Toilet Block to a Glamorgan Heritage Centre

Word on the street is that the old toliet block at Barry Island is to be tidied up, like was done at the Pumping House ( which would make a great combined Arts & Heritage Centre but is still up for sale).

The Toilet Block is a historic building in a prime tourist location.

I would suggest that this building be tidied up ( like the pumping house) and established as a Glamorgan Heritage Centre.

With the growth in heritage tourism , the increase in 'stay in the UK holidays' and the decline in our summer weather - what better use could be made for this historic public building?

With thousands of tourists arriving by coach at the Island, often only to discover that the weather has deteriorated so a beach day out is no longer a prospect - the building would provide a prime attraction.

The building is disabled friendly, has a lower level that could be used as meeting rooms and storage for local history groups and has a frontage and rear that could be utilised for open air activities.

I believe that Barry Regeneration money could be used to kickstart this project, and establish a body to run the facility. Funding could then be sought from the many available sources of heritage funding to complete the project.

With the demise of Barry Island Pleasure Park, what more fitting building is there to remember Barry Island`s former ( and hopefully future) glory?

What attractions are there on the Island to attract wet weather visitors, and where do our School children go to learn about their heritage?

With Barry town and the Vale rapidly becoming a commuter suburb of Cardiff, the time is right to establish a museum to protect the region`s unique heritage and geology.

When you tell people that you live in Barry, do they think 'social depravation' or 'Gavin & Stacey', or do they think of the town as once being a prime tourist resort or the world's largest coal exporting port?

What is being done to preserve the area`s heritage, and to educate people about it. The photos show the dolphin at the Knapp, in a skip.....and the dock cranes being cut up.

Is Vale heritage all destined for a skip? Is it not valued like other counties value theirs?

A Glamorgan Heritage Centre will help to attract tourism, and equally importantly - will help to give the disadvantaged people in the town a sence of social pride....so often lacking.

Andy Green Jan 30, 2013

Ade - do you mean the building that houses the Tourist Information Centre.
If that is the case I couldn't agree more with you about finding a new use. Currently, it is as much use as a chocolate tea pot. A visitor comes to Barry Island and they can get there a leaflet about Tenby!

It is a great location and would be great to add to the tourist attraction. Personally, from a brand marketing viewpoint, linking it with the Gavin & Stacey theme - with displays of location photos, scripts, and any memorabilia - there must be some Nessa costumes knocking about.

Also, you have raised urgent issues about the fairground site - while it may be an eyesore within it there could be some vaulabl heirlooms to preserve and treasdure and remind future generations.
Who is monitoring this and in a position to take action when necessary?

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Ade Pitman Jan 31, 2013

While never counting out the potential for the modern building being used as the tourist information office to be converted to a museum - I actually mean the old toliet block opposite the band pavilion.

Curretly it`s the first building that is seen as visitors drive down the beach road, or get off of their coach. What better location could there be for a Glamorgan County Museum?

The building offers a prime location, and is disabled friendly. The windows overlooking the beach could have painted on them a view of old Barry Island - so vistors could see a then and now.

The Gavin & Stacey theme and tours could be incorporated, as with all the other parts of the region`s heritage.

One only has to look to the 'Cardiff Story' in the old library, Cardiff to see an example of what could be achieved. Of course funding is always an issue - but the Heritage Lottery Fund could be one source, and there`s many others out there - particularly if the facility was run by a management team as a charity.

The facility would also be an ideal home for the tourism office.

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Andy Green Feb 1, 2013

Personally, I think that would be a brilliant restaurant, using the facade of the toilet block and a conservatory with lots of windowspace at the rear - would really put Barry on the map.
Definitley though behind your idea about the Musuem/Visitor Centre

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Barry Ideas Bank Feb 1, 2013

Does anyone know what the official Vale of Glamorgan Council's policy is regarding the disused toilet block?
Is the facade listed?
Is the site within the proposed Nells Point development - or outside?

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Ade Pitman Feb 4, 2013

One for the Regeneration Board me thinks...

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Ade Pitman Feb 1, 2013

I may sound cynical, but the building will probably ( eventually) go to a restrauant / cafe use. That will be private profit and rateable income rather than a public facility for the benefit of all.

The question to be asked really then would be "will a County Heritage Centre attract more out of season vistors to the Island than another restaurant?"

What other attraction is there at the Island either before, or after you`ve had your meal - or would it be better to eat at Cardiff Bay, and take in a movie, or go to a club?

What Barry really needs is a combined Arts & Heritage Centre, that will encourage people to stay in the town of an evening and spend in the town, rather than going to Cardiff to work, and then again to seek their entertainment.

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Andy Green Feb 4, 2013

You are posing really vital questions that are really implicit within a strategy - which then leads to a question, 'is there a strategy for developing Barry?'
From what we seem to agree on, any strategy for the future of Barry Island must be to develop:

1. An all-year, all weather attraction
2. That will attract family visitors
3. And be of such a quality that it enhances and improves the Barry Brand
4. Be iconic in providing a memorable, distinctive quality of Barry to further raise its profile
5. Provide further economic spin-offs and benefits to Barry

Is there anything further to add?

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Ade Pitman Feb 4, 2013

I couldn`t have put it better myself. :-)

All of the above, and be something that you want to tell your friends about...so they come too.

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