New music venue aims to make Merthyr Tydfil the entertainment capital of the Valleys
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
A new music, comedy, food and arts venue at the former Merthyr RFC clubhouse aims to turn the town into the entertainment capital of the Valleys.
Local entrepreneur Jorge D’ascencao, has revealed plans for the site which will re-open as Clwb Crown in August.
With room for 700 people, Clwb will become the highest capacity venue in the Heads of the Valleys region and will include a coffee, wine and tapas bar on one side and a performance space on the other for theatre, dance, comedy and live music.
The venue will also offer community areas such as rehearsal spaces for amateur dramatic companies and choirs, exhibition rooms for artists and modern meeting places for other local groups.
With a line-up of world-famous artists set to come to the new venue, the project has been made possible by investment from the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Placemaking scheme, along with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.
Clwb Crown forms part of the council’s wider master plan, which aims to transform Merthyr Tydfil into a tourism capital of the Valleys by 2034.
Originally hailing from Portugal, Mr D’ascencao, is well-known in Merthyr Tydfil for his transformation of the New Crown in 2011.
The hope is that his latest project will help to further enhance the offer of the town, creating new jobs and a safe, attractive space for people in the community to socialise, work and relax in.
The 1,000 square metre building will offer refreshments at every time of day — from morning coffees to takeaway lunches and Portuguese-inspired dinner service, thanks to Jorge’s wife, Fatima.
Mr D’ascencao said: “Our aim is to create the presence of a modern entertainment, music & arts space for the people of Merthyr Tydfil — whether they’re popping in for a morning coffee before work, visiting an art exhibition with a friend or joining us for tapas and live music on a Friday night. It’s all about creating a new social hub for Merthyr Tydfil and bringing people together.”
With a line-up of performers and bands set to be announced in coming months, the aim is that Clwb Crown will also have a positive impact on the town’s status as a musical hub.
Mr D’ascencao added: “We hope that Clwb Crown will further support the grassroots music scene in Merthyr Tydfil, contributing to the talent pipeline by offering a literal stage for new acts as well as jobs and upskilling opportunities for musicians and technical staff alike.”
The council’s cabinet member for regeneration, transformation and commercialisation, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said: “Starting life as an RAF Association building in 1978 and later becoming home to the old Merthyr Tydfil Rugby Club, this venue was a hive of activity for decades.
“So, after years of dereliction we are thrilled to be restoring life back into this wonderful building.
“Clwb Crown will house a new cultural offer in Merthyr Tydfil — bringing with it a sense of pride for locals and newfound interest for tourists from the wider Valleys, Cardiff and beyond.
“It’s all part of the council’s overarching vision for the town — which will see us work with strategic partners, local groups, residents and businesses to complement existing assets with high quality properties and services; enhance the town’s already powerful sense of community; and create a local economy which provides opportunities for all to flourish.
“Clwb Crown is just one development which residents can expect to see in coming months, with multiple exciting projects on the horizon for 2022.”
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