Mid Wales

Cardigan Castle: Steel supports removal in £11m work

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Media captionThe first support post was removed to a cheer from the crowd

Work has begun in Cardigan to remove the steel framework that has supported the castle walls for almost 40 years.

Yellow steel beams which have propped up the crumbling walls since 1975 are being taken away in an £11m renovation.

After months of work to strengthen and re-point the stone walls, the first piece of steelwork was cut away and removed by a crane on Friday.

A crowd of around 200 people gathered to watch the spectacle, which closed the main road for about 15 minutes.

The mayor of Cardigan, Catrin Miles, lit the oxyacetylene torch to begin the task of cutting down one of the steel supports.

The removal was followed by a firework display.

Cardigan Castle, the site of the first eisteddfod in 1176, is currently undergoing a major renovation.

It was one of the first stone castles to be built by the Welsh princes and was the stronghold of Rhys ap Gruffydd, prince of the medieval kingdom of Deheubarth.

It will reopen next year after decades of decay as a multi-purpose venue incorporating a restaurant, heritage centre and luxury accommodation.

The aim is to increase visitor numbers from 3,000 to 30,000 a year.

The scheme has received funding from the lottery and the European Regional Development Fund, through the Welsh government, along with other organisations.

Prince Charles gave the project his backing during a visit in 2006.

Image caption The steel beams have supported the crumbling castle walls for nearly 40 years

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