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Llys Cadwyn – facts and figures about the overall project

Written by on 3rd February 2021

With Llys Cadwyn ready to open when COVID-19 allows, here are a number facts and figures about its construction, sustainability and the valuable work which took place in the community by contractor Willmott Dixon and the project team.

The Pontypridd Town Centre development on the former Taff Vale precinct site was completed in October 2020. The Council will operate Number 1 Llys Cadwyn (near Bridge Street) which includes a library, customer contact point and state-of-the-art fitness centre – and these are ready and waiting to be brought into use.

Number 3 Llys Cadwyn (near Gas Road Car Park) has become the home of Transport for Wales, while the building also includes two food/drink units. The Council announced in December 2020 that it has secured exciting tenants for these units – Bradleys Coffee Shop and Loungers Ltd (Gatto Lounge) – and we are pleased to see Bradleys Coffee Shop already open to the public.

Working closely with the Council, Willmott Dixon achieved its goal of building a sustainable development to be enjoyed by generations to come. It went far beyond the buildings themselves, working in the community to help people, businesses and the economy. Here are some key facts about the project:

  • Willmott Dixon carried out 3,987 weeks of recruitment and training over the Llys Cadwyn project, and interacted with 4,264 local students.
  • Willmott Dixon sourced 21.97% of labour within 10 miles and 56% within 20 miles, above the 20% and 40% targets set. Similarly, 21.97% of project spend was within 10 miles and 63.44% was within 20 miles.
  • In total, 60% of the materials used to build Llys Cadwyn are certified as responsibly-sourced. It exceeds Welsh Government’s key performance indicator (10%) for recycled content in materials too, at 17.34%.
  • Across the duration of the development (up until September 2020), Willmott Dixon undertook £49,666 in fundraising and donations.
  • Llys Cadwyn has an ‘Excellent’ rating under the recognised BREEAM regulation ratings for environmentally-friendly buildings. Its overall project rating is 73.8%, and notably scores 91% in the energy category.
  • One of the development’s sustainable features is a rainwater tank in the basement which catches and recycles surface water that forms on the roofs and podium level. This rainwater is used to flush the 120 toilets across the three buildings, rather than using clean water.
  • Numbers 2 and 3 Llys Cadwyn have photovoltaics set on their roofs, allowing solar energy to be reused to offset the overall electricity use.
  • Willmott Dixon coordinated a Legacy Project to revitalise the bowls pavilion at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park. This included 431 hours of volunteering (the equivalent of £16,500 in staff time). Supply chain partners also volunteered 146 hours and £3,100 in materials. Another example of this community activity was Willmott Dixon’s work with Ysgol Ty Coch, where students were engaged with tasks such as using VR equipment and a talk about jobs in construction – while the local supply chain contributed to enhancing the school’s sensory garden.
  • The Willmott Dixon Mentoring Programme engaged young people who were not in education, employment or training. Working with Acorn Recruitment and Inspire2Work, 25 people took part, and one of the real success stories was a participant from Aberdare who gained industry qualifications and was employed as the project hygiene welfare officer.
  • Further training opportunities were facilitated by Llys Cadwyn. Acorn Recruitment, Communities for Work and The Career Changes project helped a woman from Aberdare return to work after five years following the birth of her child. Working around her family commitments, she was employed as a Gateswomen at Llys Cadwyn and remains with Willmott Dixon today. Another employee, from Merthyr Tydfil, was introduced to the project via the School of Hard Knocks after he fell into the wrong crowd. He became a General Operative at Llys Cadwyn and went on to be employed by Thames Valley Construction.
  • A children’s book called ‘Pontypridd and the Magical River Taff’ will be launched at the new Llys Cadwyn library – thanks to a partnership project between Willmott Dixon, the RCT Library Service, local author George Summers and pupils from St Michael’s RC Primary School.

Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development & Housing, said: “Llys Cadwyn is revitalising this area of Pontypridd Town Centre and will bring hundreds of jobs following the pandemic, while increasing local footfall and passing trade for the existing businesses in the retail area. It is great to see what Willmott Dixon achieved in terms of the building’s sustainability, while hitting targets for responsibly-sourced materials and helping the economy through local spend and labour.

“Our aim for Llys Cadwyn was to contribute more to Pontypridd than the three buildings, and Willmott Dixon excelled in local fundraising, donations, training opportunities and engagement with key groups in the community such as schools. Llys Cadwyn is something we can all be proud of and is at the heart of an exciting future for Pontypridd alongside a number of other major projects for the town, including the YMCA and Muni Arts Centre redevelopments.”

Neal Stephens, Willmott Dixon Managing Director, said: ‘‘From the outset we shared the same vision for the project as Rhondda Cynon Taf Council; which was to ensure that the project had the greatest positive impact on the local community. We are delighted that we have exceeded the ambitious targets we set, with Llys Cadwyn providing opportunity to so many local people and positively impacting the regional economy.

“I am confident that the legacy the project leaves behind will continue to provide opportunities for generations to come. We would like to thank the people of Pontypridd for being so welcoming while we were on site; we got to know so many wonderful community groups, young people and organisations as part of our social value activity and we wish them every success for the future.’’

The Council welcomed a significant £10m investment from the European Regional Development Fund, through Welsh Government’s £110m Building for the Future programme, to help deliver the Llys Cadwyn project.