Late-running Museum of Land Speed set to open next spring
Richard Youle, local democracy reporter
A new seafront museum and hostel in Pendine has finally been handed over to Carmarthenshire Council, which commissioned them, more than three years after the first concrete was poured.
The Museum of Land Speed will celebrate the seven-mile beach’s history of hosting world-breaking speed attempts, and replaces the previous Museum of Speed.
Alongside is a 43-bed hostel, which will be called Caban, plus an events area, playground, expanded car parking and, nearby, a 10-berth motorhome area developed by Pendine Community Council as part of the project.
County council chiefs said 41 jobs are expected to be created and four small to medium-sized enterprises accommodated. The council’s leisure department will manage the overall site. Internal fit-outs of the museum and hostel will now take place prior to a grand opening next year.
Cllr Gareth John, cabinet member for regeneration, leisure, culture and tourism, Cllr Gareth John, said: “We are working very hard to open the facility in the spring of 2023 and you will certainly hear more from us about the development of this exciting project over the coming months.
“Over the coming weeks, we will start recruiting staff to work here, so please keep an eye out for exciting career opportunities within the tourism sector.”
The Pendine Attractor Project, as it is known, has suffered setbacks. The council had hoped it would be completed in spring 2021 but the Covid pandemic, the collapse of lead contractor WRW Construction Ltd, and roof damage caused by winter storms, all caused delays.
The price of building materials also surged, and cabinet members were told last October that the cost of the £7.6 million scheme could rise by up to £1.7 million. The £7.6 million of funding was split between the council, the European Union and the Welsh Government.
Council chiefs hope the new facilities, which have been completed by building firm Andrew Scott following the demise of WRW Construction, will attract more overnight visitors to Pendine and boost its economy.
Pendine’s land speed pedigree was cemented in the early 1920s with record attempts by Malcolm Campbell and Welshman John Parry-Thomas, who died during an attempt in 1927. The beach still hosts occasional land speed events, and is used by production companies.
Speaking in 2019 when the project got under way, a member of staff at Beach Shack Gift Shop, Pendine, said: “We can’t wait for it to be done. It’s going to add so much to Pendine.”
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