Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside - the innovative new cultural centre in the heart of Haverfordwest town centre - has been officially opened.
The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas AM, attended a ceremony in the facility on Monday evening (28th January) along with some 60 other guests.
Along with the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Aden Brinn, and the President of the National Library of Wales, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, the Deputy Minister unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion.
The development includes a library, gallery, visitor information and coffee shop and is the result of an exciting partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and the National Library of Wales.
Funding to build the facility came from a range of sources including Pembrokeshire County Council, Welsh Government, the Wolfson Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Haverfordwest Town Council have given a five-year funding package to ensure the library is able to open throughout the year on Saturday afternoons, the previous library having been open on Saturday mornings only.
Before helping to unveil the plaque, Lord Elis-Thomas said: “I am very pleased that the Welsh Government, along with other partners, has been able to support this project.
“Co-locating a public library with a cultural facility creates a greater sense of community spirit and brings together people from across the area.
This exciting new centre at the heart of your county town will increase footfall, and I hope serve to reinvigorate and support the regeneration of the town centre and the surrounding area.”
Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, Paul Miller, said it was an exciting new facility not only for Haverfordwest but for Pembrokeshire generally.
Councillor Miller went on: “It provides a blueprint for the way we need to engage with our customers. I look forward to similar innovative developments in the future to help revitalise our town centres.”
Rhodri Glyn Thomas told guests: “Our purpose as a National Library is to make our culture and heritage accessible to all to learn, research and enjoy.
“This important partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council will offer us an unique opportunity to extend the wealth of our services and collections for the benefit of the people of the county and those visiting the area.”
The flagship facility on the town’s riverside opened to the public in December and is part of an ambitious scheme to transform the town centre.
It has already proved a big hit with the public with 49,000 visitors since it opened for business in early December.
· Glan-yr-Afon/ The Riverside is open from 10am every day apart from Sunday. It closes at 7pm on Tuesdays, and at 5pm on the other days.
· For information on events and activities at the centre log onto: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/the-riverside or visit the Pembrokeshire Libraries Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/PembrokeshireLibraryService or call Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside on 01437 775244.
Pictured at the official opening are (left to right): Councillor Aden Brinn, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Lord Elis-Thomas and Councillor Paul Miller.