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Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil unveils its plans for 2018

The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil Business Improvement District (BID) is gearing up for an exciting year as it launches its 2018 programme featuring a number of new initiatives as well as the return of some old favourites. 

Merthyr Walking Lunches

Launching on Monday 15 January and taking place every Monday and Wednesday, these twice weekly 30 minute lunchtime walks are aimed at people working in the town centre who want to get more active, network with other people and explore parts of the town they may not have known about before.


Antonia Pompa, BID Coordinator said, “This is a free and friendly way to get fit and make the most of your lunchtime. Walking brings many benefits for your general health and wellbeing. A quick lunchtime walk can help the heart and muscles, relieve stress and increase energy levels. Joining our walks is a great way to get fit, make new friends and explore Merthyr Tydfil town centre.”


Merthyr Miles

Walks are a big feature of this year’s BID programme with another project, Merthyr Miles, launching in spring. This series of 10 guided and self-guided walks will raise awareness and appreciation of buildings, sites and areas of special interest in the town centre with residents and tourists alike. Themes include Merthyr’s sporting heroes, photography, a kid’s trail, the Merthyr Rising, the town’s architecture and a tour for Welsh language beginners.

Merthyr Miles launches with two trails covering the roles of women and of the railways in Merthyr Tydfil’s past.

Huw Williams, local historian and a Director of The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil said, “I am delighted to be involved in this project which celebrates and showcases many varied aspects of Merthyr’s past and present. The trails are short and informative and this is a fun way of getting to know more about the people, events and buildings which have made Merthyr the place it is today.”

Merthyr Comedy Festival

Stand up comedy will be coming to the Valleys on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 April with the inaugural Merthyr Comedy Festival.  Spread over 2 days and involving several venues across the town centre, the festival will showcase a huge range of comedy talent including established stars of the British comedy circuit, rising talent from around the U.K., children's shows, family shows and shows that are a little more adult in their nature. 


Festival coordinator Drew Taylor said, “The comedy festival will be a first for Merthyr and I’m delighted that we have been able to attract such a range of brilliant comedians to the town. Our line-up includes Red Dwarf’s Norman Lovett, Mike Wilmot, Mike Bubbins, Bec Hill, Simon Donald, Merthyr favourite Barbara Nice and many more.”


He added, “I am very pleased with the variety of comedians and shows we will be hosting. There really is something for everyone across the festival programme and we are hoping to attract a huge crowd to the town for the day from across South Wales. 

We Love Merthyr Gift Card

Later in the year, The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil will be launching its Merthyr Gift Card. Like other gift cards, you will be able to ‘load’ the card with an amount of money, give it as a gift to a friend or family member and they can then spend it on anything they wish in participating shops, restaurants, cafes and other businesses in Merthyr Tydfil town centre. 


Carl Mason, Business Manager at Barclays and chair of the BID said, “The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil was given a tremendous vote of confidence last summer when 73% of businesses who voted backed us for a further 5 years of delivering services and activities to support Merthyr Tydfil town centre and the businesses trading here.”

“We are delivering a range of exciting new projects to encourage footfall into the town centre and to support both our daytime and evening economies.  We are also retaining and enhancing our most successful projects from previous years including – to name but a few - the We Love Merthyr campaign, successful events such as Merthyr Food Festival and Merthyr Chilli Fiesta, our shop front improvement grant, the summer floral displays, our funding of the £1 all day Saturday parking and our support for the Business Crime Reduction Partnership.”


“The next few months and years are very important for businesses in Merthyr Tydfil town centre and we are fully committed to delivering projects which enhance perceptions of the town, raise awareness of the many excellent businesses we have, support additional footfall and spend, and deliver an excellent experience for shoppers and visitors.”


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