Wales

Brecon museum and library complex Y Gaer to open in December

Y Gaer
Image caption The new cultural centre will transform the former Shire Hall, the council said

Brecon's new £14m museum and library complex will open on 5 December, Powys County Council has announced.

Delays completing Y Gaer - The Fortress in Welsh - meant opening dates last year and this March were missed.

Council bosses said they were confident residents would see the attraction centred on the Grade II-listed Shire Hall was "well worth waiting for".

Partners are being sought to help run the complex, prompting concern from opposition groups about public access.

Work is nearing completion on the project, which includes a museum in Shire Hall, plus a new library, art gallery and community facilities.

Image caption The complex was supposed to have opened by St David's Day

Cabinet members Rachel Powell and Phyl Davies said Y Gaer would "play an important part in the county's future economic and cultural well-being".

"The ambitious project has faced huge challenges during its construction, and we know that residents share our frustration at the time it has taken to finish the project," they said.

"We are confident that as soon as the impressive building opens its doors, residents will see it was well worth waiting for.

"The combination of a wonderful Grade II listed building, which has dominated the town for generations, with a modern stylish addition is eye-catching and a real asset for the county."

Brecon's existing library in Ship Street will close on 9 November to allow time for its stock to be relocated to the new complex, the council added.

Opposition councillors raised objections earlier this year when the ruling Independent/Conservative coalition suggested bringing in Brecon Beacons College, part of the Neath Port Talbot College (NPTC) group, to ensure the "future financial stability" of the complex.

Labour members said they were concerned that college use could restrict public access to the premises, and may breach grant conditions.

The council said no decision on any partnership with the college had been taken, and it subsequently issued an open invitation for any other organisations interested in becoming partners to get in touch.

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