Former Merthyr synagogue to become Jewish heritage centre

Media caption,
'Giving a face to the faceless'

A former synagogue has been bought and will be turned into a Welsh Jewish heritage centre and cultural venue.

The building in Merthyr Tydfil was built in 1872 but was sold in 1983 and has not been in use since 2006.

There has been talk previously of restoring the site and it has now been bought by the Foundation for Jewish Heritage.

Architecturally, it is said to be one of the most important synagogues in the UK and is Grade II-listed.

Michael Mail, chief executive of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, said the building was in "a very poor state".

He added: "The building is a nationally recognised historic site which we want to use to tell a unique national story of the Welsh Jewish community.

"In restoring it, we want it to once again play a meaningful role in the life of Merthyr."

The Foundation uses historical buildings to inform about the life and contribution of the Jewish community, building awareness and understanding, combating ignorance and prejudice.

It is now looking to secure funding for urgent repairs to be carried out.

Talks are taking place with Merthyr Tydfil council and an application will be submitted to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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