A £4M "world class" redevelopment of the Llys-y-Frân Reservoir visitor attraction and recreation park by Welsh Water has started.

The project has been backed with £1.7 million of EU funds through the Welsh Government’s Tourism Attractor Destination programme.

The redeveloped site is intended to attract an estimated 40,000 additional tourists, outdoor enthusiasts and local residents each year, and will include a refurbishment and expansion of the visitor centre and full refurbishment of the café.

The new outdoor activity centre and waterside cabin will be built to support walkers, cycling and water sports enthusiasts and will include a food stop, meeting rooms, changing facilities and cycle hire.

To build on Llys-y-Frân as a cycling attraction, a Pump Skills area will be constructed to provide a natural entry to the 10 km cycle trail around the reservoir.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, who visited the site last year, said: “Llys y Frân has so much potential and I’m delighted that we can support Dŵr Cymru with funding to take this vision forward for what will become an iconic water-based and outdoor hub for the area. The development will benefit the local community, as well as draw more visitors to Pembrokeshire.”

Peter Perry, Dŵr Cymru’s managing director, said: “Our plans for Llys-y-Frân represent an opportunity to create a world-class, vibrant visitor attraction that will complement other attractions in Pembrokeshire and bring benefits to the local, rural tourism economy. The development represents a further investment in Wales to enable our customers and communities to enjoy fantastic countryside, recreational and education facilities.

“We are, of course, grateful for the support from Welsh Government and EU funding which is enabling us to deliver this exciting project for the area.”

Access to the site will be maintained to pedestrian visitors where possible during the works, but there will be some parts of the park and reservoir inaccessible for health and safety purposes.

The site will be completely closed to vehicles during the redevelopment.