Page last updated at 06:04 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 07:04 UK

Plans unveiled for town 'jewel'

Artist's impression of park lido plan
Plans to restore Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd include reopening the lido

Proposals to restore a popular park to its former glory can be viewed by the public this week.

The exhibition will feature plans of how Pontypridd's so called "jewel", Ynysangharad Park, can be revamped.

Proposals for the park include reopening the Grade II listed lido, which closed in 1991.

The plans can be seen at Market Street on Friday from 1100BST, at the park itself on Saturday from 1100BST and at Pontypridd Library from Monday.

Improvements suggested include new riverside gardens, a new play area and civic square, a horticulture area and improved links to the town centre.

The park, sometimes referred to as the jewel in Pontypridd's crown, has been identified as one of the key projects to transform the town centre.

Separate multi-million pound plans to regenerate the town have recently been put forward.

The lido in its heyday
The lido at the park has been closed since 1991

They include redeveloping the indoor market, and building a new shopping centre on the site of the much-maligned Taff Vale precinct.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council said that the park plans would depend on attracting external funding.

Cabinet member for economic development and housing, Councillor Paul Cannon, said: "Our plans are ambitious.

"If further support can be provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, we firmly believe we can make our vision a reality, but additional external funding will be key in making this happen.

"We hope that plenty of people visit the exhibition and share their views and opinions on the proposals for the restoration of this jewel in Pontypridd's crown."

The park, which attracts around 800,000 visitors each year, was opened by Field Marshal Viscount Allenby as a war memorial park on August 6, 1923.

The original plan for its layout included a formal design of tree-lined walks around various sports facilities.

More recently, Pontypridd's most famous son, Tom Jones, performed at the park for his 65th birthday in 2005.

Music festival the Full Ponty has also been staged there.

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