Llanelly House promised council cash to meet 'huge' running costs

Llanelly House, 2013
Image caption Llanelly House re-opened in 2013 after a £7.8m renovation

A tourist attraction is to be given up to £60,000 this year and next year by Carmarthenshire County Council in a decision taken behind closed doors.

The cabinet agreed support for the 18th Century Llanelly House in Llanelli.

Paul Carter, commercial events manager at the Grade I-listed building, said it had to meet "huge" running costs.

The council faced criticism in 2017 after an earlier closed meeting agreed to pay £350,000 to cover debts of the trust which managed the attraction.

Built in 1714 by Carmarthenshire MP Sir Thomas Stepney as his family home, the Georgian town house later became a post office.

By the early 2000s it had become rundown, but it reopened in 2013 following a £7.8m renovation paid for by organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Welsh Government heritage body Cadw.

Image caption A restored grand bedroom at Llanelly House

Run by the Cambrian Heritage Regeneration Trust, Llanelly House hosts events such as weddings and Christmas parties, and attracts visitors with its collections of china and paintings.

Council leaders defended the earlier funding in 2017, saying the attraction could have closed without it.

The latest contribution of £60,000 per year will be subject to a review of the financial forecast prior to the second year, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Mr Carter said the money could be used for refurbishment work, including repairs to external rendering and the house's wooden window sills.

He added: "Insurance costs are eye-wateringly expensive."

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