Heritage Questions – 25 January 2012

Mark Drakeford: A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am gynlluniau i ddatblygu Amgueddfa Werin Cymru Sain Ffagan yn y dyfodol.
[Will the Minister make a statement on plans for future development of the St Fagans National History Museum.]

Huw Lewis: I thank the Member for Cardiff West for the question. The St Fagans redevelopment will boost the Welsh economy both during the construction phase and through increased tourism. It will ensure that the museum maintains its place at the heart of Wales’s cultural life, while being upgraded to tell many more stories and offer much-improved visitor facilities.

Mark Drakeford: Thank you for that update. The National History Museum is a jewel in the crown in Cardiff West, and people who live locally are great supporters of it. You will be aware that, in the redevelopment process, and with the greater numbers of visitors that we hope to attract, there will be issues to do with traffic and parking—management of that sort. I would be grateful for any assurance that you can give that those issues are being taken fully into account as these plans are developed.

Huw Lewis: I thank Mark Drakeford for his legitimate concerns. The plans surroundings the expansion and improvement of facilities at St Fagans are the biggest plans in terms of capital development across the museum sector anywhere in the UK. As part of that, we anticipate that visitor numbers to what is already the most popular visitor attraction in Wales—it was Whichŵ magazine’s best place to visit in the UK in 2011, incidentally—will grow to around 1 million per annum. As part of that, Amgueddfa Cymru and I are keen to promote efficient, sustainable transport solutions for the expanded visitor numbers that we anticipate. We will be developing a comprehensive travel strategy in consultation with key partners, which include the local community council as well as Cardiff Council. That includes a commitment to increased bus and cycle provision, to investigate rail and bus links, and to minimise the impact of car traffic on the local community.