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Aberystwyth: Hotel and Museum Plan to Rejuvenate Old College

Plans to turn the first home of the University of Wales into a four-star hotel with a museum, galleries and youth clubs in a £43m renovation have been revealed.

It is hoped Aberystwyth’s Old College will become a “major cultural and creative centre for Wales”.

The first phase of the project will also include a science exhibition, business units and 10 function rooms.

The university said it would create 130 jobs.

It is hoped it will attract 200,000 visitors each year.

Project manager Jim O’Rourke said: “The regeneration of Aberystwyth starts with this project.

“The whole project is based on the assumption that Old College is able to maintain itself, that the incomes are enough to maintain the staff who are going to run the galleries, the various educational activities as well as the commercial activities.”

Image of how the Old College will look when the project is finished

There will be 143 rooms across seven floors and new lifts to ensure access to all parts of the building.

A new addition will be an atrium behind two Georgian villas next door to the Old College building which will provide access to the building and a glass-walled function room.

A picture of what the hotel rooms will look like once the renovation is completed

Much of the project involves restoring parts of the building due to damage caused by the weather and human hands.

In what was once the university staff common room, pillars were damaged decades ago in the 1960s as they were covered with plasterboard walls, but Mr O’Rourke said these had been repaired.

Image of damaged pillars

Also, blackened walls and a burnt beam have been found in an uncovered part of the cellar.

This is evidence of the huge fire that killed three men and destroyed the Old College in 1885.

There are 664 window frames being restored and 20,000 new slates will be put on the sea-facing side of the roof to refurbish the weather-beaten exterior.

Craig Williams, of construction company Andrew Scott Ltd, said it was “probably one of the largest heritage and restoration projects we’ve undertaken”.

“We’re trying to get it back to being as close to what it was, but also we want to preserve the building so many more generations can enjoy it,” he said.

Source : bbc