HAVERFORDWEST'S new library and cultural centre has welcomed 50,000 visitors in its first two months, guests at an official opening ceremony were told recently.

On January 28 around 60 guests were given a tour of the £3m Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside facility, which opened to the public in December.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM was joined by Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council, Aden Brinn, and President of the National Library of Wales Rhodri Glyn Thomas.

Unveiling a plaque to commemorate the official opening, Lord Elis-Thomas said: “I am very pleased that the Welsh Government, along with other partners, has been able to support this project.

“Co-locating a public library with a cultural facility creates a greater sense of community spirit and brings together people from across the area.

"This exciting new centre at the heart of your county town will increase footfall, and I hope serve to reinvigorate and support the regeneration of the town centre and the surrounding area.”

The Riverside development includes a library, gallery, visitor information and coffee shop and is the result of a partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and the National Library of Wales.

Funding came from a range of sources including Pembrokeshire County Council, Welsh Government, the Wolfson Foundation, the Foyle Foundation, and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Haverfordwest Town Council has also given a five-year funding package to ensure the library stays open on Saturday afternoons.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, Paul Miller, said it was an exciting new facility, not just for Haverfordwest but for Pembrokeshire.

He said: “It provides a blueprint for the way we need to engage with our customers.

"I look forward to similar innovative developments in the future to help revitalise our town centres.”

Rhodri Glyn Thomas told guests: “Our purpose as a National Library is to make our culture and heritage accessible to all to learn, research and enjoy.

“This important partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council will offer us an unique opportunity to extend the wealth of our services and collections for the benefit of the people of the county and those visiting the area.”