NEW designs for a £257,000 events pavilion in the grounds of Abergavenny Castle have been unveiled.

Abergavenny Museum says that having an outdoor covered structure will allow the venue to provide a wider variety of events whatever the weather.

The proposed building would be oak-framed with a slate roof and open sides and is expected to seat around 120 people.

It is also hoped that an expanded events programme of events at the castle will attract younger and older audiences, with families and young children currently proving to be the site’s main visitors.

“The pavilion, rather like a large bandstand, will provide a permanent shelter within the ground, and a high-quality events space that can be ‘dressed’ to suit the occasion,” a report says.

“Castles in general are great places to stage events. As ‘romantic ruins’ they appeal to a wide range of people and by their very nature they offer the perfect backdrop for events

“However, a structure also provides a physical focus which increased

awareness of it and in turn, the public’s awareness of the museum and castle.

“We will ensure this focus does not have a detrimental effect on th neighbours on the site by putting a mitigating strategies in place,” says a report due to be discussed by Monmouthshire County Council’s economy and development select committee on Thursday.

Earlier plans for the pavilion went before the committee last October, with members choosing not to endorse a feasibility study and asking for further information.

Since then reports show that building costs have increased from the original sum of £226,000.

The council has secured £128,000 from the Rural Community Development Fund to pay towards the project.

Further grants of £30,000 and £2,500 have been received from Abergavenny Town Council and the Abergavenny Local History Society respectively.

An application for £120,000 in grant funding has also been made to the Welsh Government’s museums, archives and libraries division, with a decision expected in April 2019.

If approved all project costs will be covered, with £90,000 of the grant going towards the structure and £30,000 to refurbish the old toilets block.

The council expects to bring in £5,250 in the first year through heritage-related events, outdoor theatre productions and activities with schools and families.

But they are projecting a £35,225 profit in the fifth year when demand for concerts, wedding receptions and food events is expected to increase.

Even with upkeep, staffing and advertising costs factored in, the council expects to make profit in each of the plan’s five years.

The castle grounds have been used for public entertainment since the 1880s and is one of the three venues used for the Abergavenny Food Festival.

A planning application for the pavilion has been submitted to the council and will be discussed by the planning committee next month or in the New Year.