Sioned Williams, Member of the Senedd for South Wales West, called on the Welsh Government to look at how accessibility can be improved at Neath Abbey.
The call followed a statement on community engagement with Cadw sites made in the Senedd by Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Art, Sport and Tourism, where the recent work partnership working between Cadw and Dŵr-y-Felin Comprehensive School was highlighted and praised.
Highlighting the lack of disabled parking and toilets at the site, Sioned Williams MS said:
“As someone who has long campaigned for the heritage sites of Neath to have better access and to be better promoted, it was good to hear you mention Neath Abbey, Deputy Minister, and the positive response of Dŵr-y-Felin school pupils to the young custodian scheme there. I really welcome the aim of increasing the engagement of communities with these sites, but that engagement, do you agree, must be inclusive?”
Sioned also questioned the Minister about the nearby Ironworks that has been transformed in recent years by a small group of dedicated volunteers.
“Neath abbey ironworks nearby is equally impressive, an important site of the industrial era, and the Friends of Neath Abbey Ironworks do an incredible job there as volunteers, excavating the site, holding work days, and it's recently been one of the open door days with Cadw. But I'd like to know, both, how are you going to improve access to and better promote these sites, bringing all these together in one imaginative heritage offer for places like Neath that really need it?”
In her response, the Deputy Minister admitted that she was not particularly familiar with Neath Abbey but will be visiting the site as part of tourism week and she gave Sioned Williams MS a commitment that she will consider her points regarding on-site facilities and accessibility at Neath Abbey.