Welsh Government Minister visits Pantycelyn
Left to Right: Andrea Pennock, Director of Estates Development; Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University; Dr Emyr Roberts, Aberystwyth University Chair of Council; Anna Wyn Jones, UMCA president; Eluned Morgan AM; Gwerfyl Pierce Jones, Chair of the Pantycelyn Project Board and Deputy Chair of the University’s Council and Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, Aberystwyth University Vice Pro-Chancellor.
09 July 2018
The Welsh Government’s Minister for the Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning was given a guided tour of Aberystwyth University’s historic Pantycelyn student hall of residence on Thursday 5 July 2018.
During her visit, Eluned Morgan AM confirmed funding of £5 million from the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education programme towards the University’s £12m project to refurbish Pantycelyn.
Planning permission has been approved to create first-rate accommodation for 200 students in contemporary en-suite rooms.
The building will also house offices for UMCA (Aberystwyth’s Welsh Students’ Union), a public refectory, a centre for Welsh speakers and learners, and social spaces for use by students and the local community.
Eluned Morgan said: “The importance of Pantycelyn to the Welsh speaking world cannot be overestimated. It is an iconic building to so many people throughout Wales and beyond so I am delighted to confirm this funding of £5 million to ensure many more Welsh speaking students will be able to call it home and experience its unique linguistic and cultural atmosphere.
“We have set an ambitious target of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050. I have said many times that education is key to achieving this target and this is as true for higher education as it is for primary schools. The students who will be living here will be the teachers, lawyers, scientists and politicians of tomorrow so ensuring they have the opportunities to learn and live through the medium of Welsh and to carry that forward to their professional lives is a vital part of the ‘Cymraeg 2050’ strategy.”
Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, said: “We are very grateful to Welsh Government for their support for our exciting plans to reopen Pantycelyn as a first-rate hall of residence for Welsh-speaking students. Aberystwyth offers an unrivalled experience to students who want to learn and live through the medium of Welsh, and the refurbishment of this historic building will further enhance the breadth and depth of our Welsh-medium academic provision.”
Gwerfyl Pierce Jones, Chair of the Pantycelyn Project Board and Deputy Chair of the University’s Council, said: “Everything is in place for the transformation of Pantycelyn – the £12m funding package as well as all the relevant planning permissions. We now continue full steam ahead towards reopening the building in September 2019 and during the period of refurbishment work, there is designated accommodation for Welsh students in Pantycelyn-Penbryn and Fferm Penglais.”
Designed by architect Sir Thomas Percy and opened as student accommodation in 1951, Pantycelyn was designated a Welsh Hall of Residence in 1974.
There is further information about Pantycelyn and its history on the University’s website: www.aber.ac.uk/pantycelyn.