Mid Wales

£10m to transform Aberystwyth University's Old College

Old College, Aberystwyth University Image copyright Aberystwyth University
Image caption The college by the sea - Aberystwyth University's original 1872 home

More than £10m has been secured to restore an iconic university college in Ceredigion.

The National Lottery support for Aberystwyth University's Old College was announced on Wednesday.

It comes as part of a £22m plan to turn the Grade I-listed building into a centre for heritage, learning and enterprise.

It is hoped the work will be completed in time for the university's 150th anniversary in 2022.

A performance and gallery space will be created for artists, exhibitions and musicians and there will be a centre for entrepreneurs and new businesses, a cafe and community rooms.

The college will also house a university museum, allowing some of the 20,000 items normally in storage to be shown.

Image copyright Ray Jones/Geograph

A new science centre will showcase interactive displays alongside a planetarium and 4D facility, highlighting the university's links with the European Space Agency.

The college was bought in 1867 by the University of Wales for just £10,000, using money donated by the community.

It first opened its doors to students in 1872 - before focus shifted in the 1960s when the university moved to a new campus.

Wales Office minister Guto Bebb said the money would secure the future of the Old College, meaning it can "continue to play a vital role in the future not only of the university but the town itself".

The university is still looking at ways to raise additional funds, including a major appeal.

Ceredigion MP Ben Lake said: "This is great news for Ceredigion and will reveal the hidden history of an iconic landmark as well as paving the way for its future.

"The Old College will once again be recognised as a beacon of culture and creativity, and a major catalyst for economic and social regeneration."

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