"I’ve been enormously impressed by all the work that has gone into this." HRH Princes of Wales
On Friday 22nd February, we were honoured to welcome His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to our brand new Summit Centre.
The event began impressively, with a limousine sweeping into Summit Centre accompanied by a procession of police motorbikes. His Royal Highness emerged into bright sunshine and immediately went to greet the cheering crowd. On his visit the Prince watched children from our climbing clubs demonstrate their skills, talked with young people from the Prince’s Trust, spoke to members of the armed forces who train at the centre and met staff, trustees and members of the local community. His Royal Highness toured the new facility including the café, meeting rooms, residential accommodation and climbing wall.
Summit Centre has been built on the site of a former drift coal mine, which closed in 1989. Three former miners who worked at the Taff Merthyr colliery spoke to the Prince during his visit and described what the site used to look like before it was developed. “It’s marvellous. If you went back to 1989 all this valley was black and then 30 years later it’s just gob-smacking what’s been done” said John Jones a former miner.
Unveiling a plaque to commemorate the opening of the centre, the Prince said:
“I just wanted to say how pleased I am to have this rather brief opportunity to join you and to see the results of this project here in a very special valley. I’ve been enormously impressed by all the work that has gone into this and that you managed to reuse the pithead buildings. I’m so glad it’s turned out to be such a success and I can only offer my warmest congratulations to all those who have helped to make it possible.”
Rock UK Chief Executive, John Heasman, said: “We were honoured to welcome The Prince of Wales to open our £4m residential centre which will benefit young people from all over the UK. The local community is at the heart of our vision and our brand-new activity centre not only provides world-class facilities but also brings employment opportunities and income from both England and Wales. We are especially grateful for the support of Welsh Government nationally and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council locally in delivering this vital investment into the South Wales Valleys.”
The development at Summit Centre has been supported by £2.3m from the Welsh Government’s EU funded Tourism Attractor Destination programme.
We would love to welcome you all to Summit Centre to show you the world-class facilities on offer in the South Wales Valleys. Do come and pay us a visit.
Watch our video of his tour.