The Dolwen Field and the Diamond Jubilee Pavilion, or the Pavilion (refurbished 2013), is an asset which the Town Council realised was under used. The Pavilion is state of the art with a fully functional kitchen, showers toilets and a meeting room which can be sectioned off into smaller spaces. Parents and children accessed the play park and some young people use the area for sports, however in reality the Field and the Pavilion was costing the town money. The Pavilion could be used for so many activities from birthday parties to training, but the main drawback was the lack of parking space.
Members of the Town Council consulted various groups, institutions and residents of the town via questionnaires and meetings about what we would need to do to enable people to use the field and pavilion. The top of the list was car parking, followed by a multi purpose track for walking, running and cycling and an outdoor gym. The disabled runners and cyclists in town particularly welcomed the track as a safe space to pursue their hobbies. There were calls for a swimming pool and an ice skating rink, but those suggestions did not get much support. Donations were made by the Shane Davies, Memorial Tractor run, and members of the Cuthbertson family, specifically for a sensory memorial garden.
Lynn Ball, the then Town Clerk, took the lead in completing a £250,000 grant application, for the project which was unsuccessful. However we were given excellent feedback. The main issues seemed to be that the project appeared to be Council led; the project did not have a constitution or bank account and the project had too many parts that did not appear to hang together. Following another open meeting members of the community volunteered to join the committee. Dolwen: Recreation for All was born, with Dave Barlow, as chair, Lynn Ball, treasurer and Martin Piggott, secretary. D:RfA has its own separate bank account and Constitution.
During 2019 there were various fundraising events such as an Easter egg hunt; a quiz and curry night at Victoria Hall, we rented the Cefnllys charity shop for a week in July, followed by a car boot sale on the carpark of the Cambrian Woollen Mill.
The Llanwrtyd Bears have started training on the Dolwen field and are organising a friendly match with a team from our twin town of Meriel in 2020.
After overcoming many obstacles planning permission for the project has been granted. The plans include access from the road into the field, a car park with space for 20 cars, and the track with stations for outdoor gym equipment. The committee have taken the feedback on board and the Dolwen -Recreation for All(D:RFA) project will be rolled out in phases. A more robust grant application has been submitted; representatives of play equipment manufacturers have submitted plans and tenders have been invited from contractors for the construction work.
It has taken a lot of work from councillors and volunteers to get Dolwen: Recreation for All, to this point. However we have a strong committee of both community and councillors who are eagerly awaiting the decision of the big lottery as to whether we are eligible to go to phase two of the application. If we are successful we will be able to start of the first phase of the project which will enable a programme of activities to be planned and make the facility usable for the Community and outlying areas with the aim of making the facility financially sustainable into the future.