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See Inside Haverfordwest’s New Glan-yr-afon Cultural Centre

Over 4,000 people visited the new Glan-yr-afon/The Riverside – Haverfordwest’s new flagship cultural centre on its opening two days last week. If you haven’t visited yet then here is all you need to know and a glimpse inside.

This innovative centre includes a library with a dedicated fun kids’ area and fancy-dress station, a gallery, a visitor information and coffee shop. It is the result of a partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and The National Library of Wales and forms part of an ambitious £3.4 million scheme to transform Haverfordwest town centre.

The centre opened on Friday 7th December and saw around 2,000 people visit on the Friday and a further 2,200 visitors on the Saturday.

The first person through the door on Friday morning was Vivian Cliff, a regular library-goer.

She said: “I have missed the library so much as I read a lot and also use it for sending e-mails to my sister in Canada. It is also good for researching family history. I have to say I’m very, very impressed. Just try keeping me away.”


A Library the Kids will Love

At the centre of Glan-yr-afon there is a 21st Century library space, blending traditional book stock with online access and self-service technology. For the first time in a Pembrokeshire library, customers will be able to loan, return and renew their items using self-service kiosks which works like magic!

The modern children’s library area has been well received by families. It features stunning illustrations by local artist Jackie Morris and its focal point is an interactive story wall, set within a castle-themed children’s area, complete with children’s reading tower for reading, learning and play.

Also, there is a very popular comfortable space for young people, including reading booths, graphic novels and gaming.


The Gallery

The new gallery had fantastic feedback by visitors. The gallery is in partnership with the National Library of Wales and will host a programme of thematic six-month exhibitions that display the library’s iconic collections, as well as a permanent exhibition on the history, culture, arts and legends of Pembrokeshire.

The Story of Pembrokeshire is a permanent exhibition focusing on the history, culture, arts and legends of the county, while Kyffin Williams: Land and Sea, features a magnificent collection of work from one of Wales’ most famous artists to celebrate the centenary of his birth. The National Library of Wales plan to deliver a programme of exciting events and education activities to accompany the permanent exhibition.


Life Hub and Coffee

A new, discreet area called The Life Hub features a wealth of information on Health and Wellbeing, Work and Money Skills.  This space also has a dedicated activity room which is available to hire by organisations and charities whose work involves health or employment-related activities.

Visitors are also able to enjoy and unwinding with a coffee whilst soaking up the beautiful riverside view at the venue’s coffee shop – Tŷ Coffi, is run by Café Rio, who offer a range of high quality coffees roasted in Wales and a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.


Welcoming Tourist

It’s planned that the Glan-yr-afon will also become a key stopping point for some of Pembrokeshire’s 4.3 million annual visitors, thanks to a partnership with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

In the visitor information point there is a wealth of visitor information, including maps, leaflets and tablets pre-loaded with quick links. Volunteers will also be on hand to assist with visitor enquiries during the visitor season.


How has it been Funded

Funding this awesome new building has come 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 have given a five-year funding package to ensure the library is able to open throughout the year on Saturday afternoons.


A Little Look Inside

Have a little look inside this New Building in this council’s promotional video below




You can visit this new building with your family at:

Glan-yr-Afon/ The Riverside
Former Riverside Market
Off Swan Square
SA61 2AN



The centre is open:

Monday 10am until 5pm
Tuesday 10am until 7pm
Wednesday 10am until 5pm
Thursday 10am until 5pm
Friday 10am until 5pm
Saturday 10am until 5pm

Christmas Closure Notice: This library will close for Christmas on Monday 24th December at 4pm and reopen on Wednesday 2nd January at 10am.


If you are looking for more information about Glan-yr-Afon/ The Riverside you can contact the centre direct on 01437 775244 or email them at [email protected]


Don’t forget it’s Free to become a member of your local library in Pembrokeshire and to save you time you can even apply online Here which will give you a temporary library number that you just take with you when you visit one of the libraries along with one proof of identity.




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