A CARMARTHENSHIRE museum has now partially re-opened with new exhibitions.

Parc Howard Museum in Llanelli has been closed since 2021 whilst an ambitious restoration and modernisation programme was carried out. This included system upgrades and internal refurbishments.

The museum has a new visitor entrance which improves access to the historic mansion house – with the house being gifted as a public museum to the town in 1912 – there is also a new gift shop which offers hot drinks, snacks and ice creams. There are also gifts including books, toys and stocking fillers.

The route through the museum will explore various chapters from Llanelli’s history. There will be a Llanelly Pottery Stories exhibition which has been created over a two-year period of engagement with the public which was funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund. It showcases the pottery collection at the museum through the stories of the pottery and its workers.

There has been an art gallery at the museum since 1912 and this is the part of the building that has re-opened. There is a new exhibition which recreates the traditional style from the era surrounding 1912 and showcases paintings from the county’s art collection.

There is a new exhibition on the history of Parc Howard and the Llanelli Story, a playful interactive gallery and special exhibition programme. There are also plans for a patio seating area at the front of the museum.

Parc Howard Museum is part of the CofGâr family – the Carmarthenshire County Council Museums and Arts Service – and the restoration was funded by the council. The new exhibitions have been supported by Llanelli Town Council and the Friends of Parc Howard Museum have donated new items.

Cllr Hazel Evans, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, leisure, culture and tourism, said: “We’re delighted to welcome back visitors to Parc Howard Museum, a much-loved jewel of Llanelli’s cultural heritage.

“Carmarthenshire County Council are proud to have made this ambitious investment in Llanelli’s heritage and we are grateful for the generous support of Llanelli Town Council, as well as the Friends of Parc Howard Museum and all our community partners. We’re looking forward to the second phase of reopening next year when visitors can enjoy even more exciting and interactive experiences in the first-floor galleries.”

Currently, the ground floor galleries in the museum have re-opened and are free to visit every Thursday to Sunday between 10.30am and 3.30pm. The rest of the museum is set to reopen in Easter 2024.