Dylan Thomas’ local pub receives £300,000 renovation grant
The Vale of Aeron in Ystrad Aeron, west Wales, once a favourite haunt of poet and playwright Dylan Thomas, has received a £300,000 grant for renovations from the Community Ownership Fund.
Thomas, who achieved fame with works such as Under Milk Wood and A Child’s Christmas in Wales, used to frequent the pub, known in Welsh as Tafarn Dyffryn Aeron, when he lived in nearby Talsarn in the 1940s.
In 2021, when the pub was threatened with permanent closure after it shut at the end of its lease in September, the local community rallied to save it. That December, the Menter Tafarn y Vale Cooperative raised £300,000 to buy the pub.
Now, it has been announced that the pub is one of several recipients of a UK Government fund. In total, the Community Ownership Fund has given £4 million for 18 projects in Wales to date.
The funding will be used by the pub to upgrade the kitchen, improve the toilet facilities, make the building more accessible, and improve its overall energy efficiency.
Iwan Thomas, secretary of the cooperative to protect the pub, said after the £300,000 grant was announced: “As you can imagine, it’s an old 19th century building, not very well insulated, single glazed windows rattling away through the winter. So we were very keen to bring it into the 21st century, at least in terms of sustainability and environmental performance.”
Ben Lake MP, who represents Ceredigion, praised the success of the fundraising campaign: “It creates jobs and boosts the local economy, as well as giving local people a place to socialise and get together.”
The late Thomas was no stranger to a local watering hole. To read about some more of his favourite spots, as well as those of other writers of repute, click here.