Wales

Neath Abbey should be better promoted, says councillor

Neath Abbey Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Neath Abbey was once described as the fairest in Wales, Councillor Evans said

More needs to be done to promote Neath Abbey as a tourist attraction, a local councillor has said.

Jamie Evans claimed the ruined 12th Century Cistercian monastery was poorly advertised, had terrible access and gets forgotten about.

Neath Port Talbot Council said a new tourism action plan would promote it as an important attraction.

The Welsh Government said its heritage arm Cadw had invested in the site to save the structures from collapse.

"Neath Abbey was once described as the fairest abbey in all of Wales," Councillor Evans told his colleagues at a meeting on tourism.

"But Cadw seems to neglect the abbey in favour of places like Caerphilly Castle, Caernarfon Castle and Strata Florida Abbey.

"The abbey is incredible, but it's so poorly advertised and promoted by both Cadw and Neath Port Talbot Council.

"The access is terrible, from the A465 and from the main road, it's off an industrial estate.

"How can we try to get them to promote what was once the largest abbey in Wales?"

The council - which last summer re-established its tourism unit - said it was keen to re-establish links with Cadw, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Officers said they also wanted to help the Friends of Neath Abbey Iron Company with their aspirations to carry out improvements to the site, including access roads and signage.

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "Neath Abbey has a fascinating history and Cadw have recently invested more than £1.1m on major conservation works to the site.

"This will allow access to areas of the site that are currently closed to the public."

The spokeswoman said Cadw had also installed new information displays and audio points.

A computer graphic reconstruction of the abbey has also been created for smartphones and the internet.

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