Merthyr Tydfil could soon become a hub of live music, comedy, food and the arts – with plans to transform the derelict town center rugby club into a vibrant new entertainment venue.
Local entrepreneur, Jorge D’ascencao, has revealed ambitious plans for the venue – which will reopen as ‘Clwb Crown‘ in August 2022.
Scheduled to host a top-secret lineup of world-renowned artists, the transformation project was made possible through an investment from the Transforming Towns Placemaking Scheme, in conjunction with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.
The 700-person Clwb will become the largest capacity venue in the Heads of the Valleys region, featuring a cafe, wine and tapas bar on one side and a high-spec performance space on the other – to host theatre, dance, comedy and live music.
The venue will also provide spaces for community collaboration in the downtown core, including rehearsal spaces for drama companies and amateur choirs, showrooms for artists, and modern meeting places for other local groups.
The arrival of Clwb Crown forms a small but important part of the council’s wider master plan – which aims to transform Merthyr Tydfil into a tourism capital of the valleys by 2034.
Originally from Portugal, the driving force behind the project, Jorge D’ascencao, is well known in the Merthyr Tydfil area for his transformation of the New Crown in 2011 – a once derelict pub that became a hotspot for music lovers and foodies in the center city.
With the artist’s impressions published, it is hoped that Jorge’s latest project will help further improve the downtown offering, creating new jobs and a safe and attractive space for people in the local community to socialize. , work and relax.
The 1,000 square meter building will offer refreshments at any time of the day – from premium morning coffees to take-out lunches and Portuguese-inspired dinner service, courtesy of Jorge’s wife, Fatima.
“Our aim is to create the presence of a space for entertainment, music and modern art for the people of Merthyr Tydfil – whether they come for a morning coffee before work, whether they visit an exhibition of art with a friend or whether they join us for tapas and live music on a Friday night, it’s about creating a new social hub for Merthyr Tydfil and bringing people together.
With a roster of big-name artists and bands to be announced in the coming months, it is hoped Clwb Crown will also have a positive impact on the city’s status as a music hub.
“We hope Clwb Crown will further support the grassroots music scene in Merthyr Tydfil, contributing to the talent pool by providing a literal stage for new acts as well as employment and development opportunities for musicians and technical staff.”
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Processing and Marketing, Cllr Geraint Thomas said:
“Beginning life as the RAF Association Building in 1978 and later becoming the headquarters of former Rugby Club Merthyr Tydfil, this venue has been a hive of activity for decades. So after years of abandonment, we are delighted to bring this magnificent building back to life.
“Clwb Crown will be home to a new cultural offering in Merthyr Tydfil – bringing with it a sense of pride for locals and new interest for tourists from the wider valleys, Cardiff and beyond. This is all part of the council’s overall vision for the city – which will see us working with strategic partners, local groups, residents and businesses to complement existing assets with high quality properties and services; enhance the city’s already strong sense of community; and create a local economy that provides opportunities for all to thrive.
“Clwb Crown is just one development residents can expect to see in the coming months, with several exciting projects on the horizon for 2022.”