Former YMCA building, Merthyr Tydfil

Striking terracotta facade disguising the most appalling dereliction


The striking building is an early work by one of Wales’ most important architects, Sir Percy Thomas, who was also responsible for the Bute building in Cathays and the Guildhall in Swansea.

The YMCA’s distinctive four-storey terracotta façade has been part of the Merthyr skyline since 1911, but now this landmark building is in an appalling condition:
water is running in through the badly eroded roof and its impressive red brick and yellow terracotta façade is crumbling.

Last year the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the Portmorlais district £1.68 for regeneration. The YMCA building’s decline was mentioned specifically with the money to go towards improving conditions, and finding new uses for this and other historic buildings. So some money is available, but the building desperately needs a new saviour, or the opportunity will be lost.

‘It has survived two applications for demolition by previous owners and is once again up for sale. It now desperately needs to find a new owner who recognises its potential for reuse, before its condition worsens’, said Dr Ian Dungavell, Director of the The Victorian Society.


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