A FORMER medieval animal enclosure and toilet in Llandaff is being converted into a heritage centre and community space that will be staffed by volunteers.
The building, called The Pound, is adjacent to Bishop’s Castle and near Llandaff Cathedral, and is part of a £250,000 project by the community groups the Llandaff Society and Llandaff 50+.
The Pound was formerly used to house animals when market fairs were held in Bishop’s Castle, whilst the toilets were added in the 1920’s.
Geoff Barton-Greenwood, chairman of the Llandaff Society, said: “The general idea is that here we have this absolutely amazing 1000-year old Cathedral city and lots of historic buildings around the medieval core of Llandaff.
“It’s a place that is rich in history, and we need to make sure it gets its place back on the tourist map.”
The Pound will be used for a variety of projects, including a permanent heritage centre that will be open to public to learn about Llandaff’s history.
Many of the volunteers will be members of Llandaff 50+, a group for the over 50’s population of Llandaff, many of whom are retired, and also members of the 250-strong Llandaff Society group, which is composed of members from across Llandaff.
Llandaff has the second highest proportion of older people in Cardiff, but lacks a permanent centre which the elderly can use for socialising or meeting new people.
As well as heritage centre, The Pound will also have toilets open to public access and a meeting room which will be used for community projects and as a social space.
Diana Langmaid, the treasurer for Llandaff 50+, said: “The Pound Activity Centre will be an innovative way of providing opportunities for older people to engage in activities at a time when this is increasingly needed.
“We will have a meeting room for up to 20 people to take part in various activities, whatever some-one wants to run. We’ve had people interested in tai chi, history, games, a book group, and a music group, and they’ll all be run by volunteers.”
The Llandaff Society and Llandaff 50+ are currently fundraising to run the building and also help refurbish and extend The Pound with the help of the architecture company Downs Merrifield.
Mr Barton-Greenwood said: “The Llandaff Society will be a relatively small part of the fundraising efforts, but the combined resources of the Llandaff 50+ and the society will be directed to ensuring that the building is fully-funded.
“The funding however will obtained largely through grants, such as the heritage lottery fund for example.”
Ms Langmaid said: “Llandaff 50+ now has charity status and this enables us to apply for funding from such organisations as Welsh Government, Big Lottery, Cadw, HLF and others who will have an interest in what we are setting out to achieve.
Members are also contributing each week to our collection boxes and I have banked a lot of small change, over £250 and counting.”
Those interested in learning more about The Pound can find out more information here.