Funding go-ahead to improve visitor welcome at Marloes Sands

A view of Marloes Sands

Marloes Sands will be the focus of a new National Trust project over the next two years to improve the on-site visitor experience as the coastal hotspot in Pembrokeshire continues to grow in popularity.

Funding go-ahead

The conservation charity has secured a £120,000 grant towards the project through the Welsh Government’s Tourism Amenity Investment Support scheme, funded by the Welsh Government’s Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and Welsh Government.

The work will focus on improving infrastructure at the Marloes Sands car park and the surrounding area to create a wow welcome for the thousands of visitors who enjoy the destination every year.

Creating a wow welcome 

A new visitor welcome building, improved car park surface and a refresh of signage, information and interpretation are all planned as part of the project, which will take place this year in readiness for completion and opening in Easter 2020.

Speaking about the work, Mark Underhill, our Countryside Manager for North Pembrokeshire, said: “We’re delighted to have secured funding through the Tourism Amenity Investment Support scheme.

“With our visitor numbers growing to more than 30,000 last year, we recognise that more and more people are enjoying and exploring Marloes Sands and the wider peninsula.

“This funding will enable us to invest and improve in our visitor welcome infrastructure to help visitors make the most of this special place, whether they’re coming for wildlife watching, to connect with nature or for a day out at the beach.

“We’ll be working closely with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, the Marloes community and partner organisations to ensure our infrastructure sits well in the local environment and is valued by local and tourists alike.”

The project follows on from the Trust’s investment in Runwayskiln, a farmhouse, café and series of accommodation buildings near Marloes Sands, which were successfully let for commercial and residential use in 2017. The project was also supported by the Micro & Small Business Fund through the Rural Development Programme.

Enjoy Wales' natural environment

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “The Tourism Amenity Investment Support (TAIS) scheme is an excellent way for us to assist the tourism sector to make the improvements to local facilities and amenities.  

“Facilities such as footpaths, public conveniences, signage and car parking are often only noticed when the provision is lacking or sub-standard – which shows that they are an important part of the visitor experience.  

“Projects, such as this one at Marloes Sands, make it easier for residents and visitors alike to enjoy Wales’ natural environment.”

Community working

Responding to the news, Christopher Jessop, Vice Chairman of the Marloes and St. Brides Community Council, said: “Our community is pleased to be working with the National Trust on this project.

“We appreciate the involvement we have had so far in helping the Trust develop the scheme and look forward to a continued dialogue which will allow the project to benefit from the knowledge and experience of local residents.”