Gelli Aur Country Park is in line for a grant worth almost £1million from the Welsh Government this week to improve public access to the historic site.

The £989,000 fund has been accepted by the Golden Grove Trust to carry out the first phase of work at the Towy Valley site.

Public access to the gardens and historic parkland will be the first priority, with amenities such as tea rooms, play area and trails forming part of the work in Phase One.

The funding has come about after Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas, who has met with the park owners on a number of occasions, set up a meeting between the Chair of the Gelli Aur Trust and the Welsh Government Minister to discuss the future of the park.

The Plaid AM welcomed the £1million funding as fantastic news to get the restoration project off to a flying start.

Mr Thomas said: “Gelli Aur has been an incredible asset to Carmarthenshire. Securing its future has been an integral part of my work for a number of years.

“Having had a series of meetings with the owner and the Chair of the Trust, and having set up a meeting with the Welsh Government to discuss what support can be provided to the park, I am delighted the Minister has now committed close to £1million to bring the park into public use again.

“The park’s owner has already spent a fortune on major restoration works of the mansion. To have this additional support is fantastic news and will get the park’s restoration project off to a flying start. This is just reward for the owner and trust board members who have worked tirelessly to secure the success of the venture.

“With Golden Grove set to join the already blooming Aberglasney, Botanic and Dinefwr parks, the Towy valley really is the premier gardens attraction in Wales. A golden future really can be realised.”

County Councillor Cefin Campbell added: “I have some very fond memories of the country park and the times I spent with my young family enjoying the incredible walks and facilities. I was horrified to see the state of the children’s play area when I visited it just a few weeks ago.

“I warmly welcome the grant from the Welsh government which will go to help bring the playground and park into use once again, and see the nature trails and cafe open to the public.

“Gelli Aur has attracted visitors from around the world in the past, and following the completion of the restoration, I look forward to it attracting visitors the world over once again.”