FEARS that internal walls at the Old College will be covered in “soul-less white plaster” as part of a multi-million pound development have been quashed by Aberystwyth University.
The Cambrian News reported “Concerns were raised after basic artists’ impressions seemed to show the interior of the Quad in gleaming white and its floor covered in carpet.
But Aberystwyth University has said that the display photos shown were “a very basic artist’s impression” created for the project before the announcement of the Heritage Lottery funding for the large-scale project, set to be ready by 2022 as part of the university’s 150th anniversary.
A spokesperson told the Cambrian News there “won’t be white plastering of the quad or carpeting” as part of the £21.9m project.
The university’s statement came following concerns raised by visitors including Michael Apichella, an Aberystwyth postgraduate student, who noticed that old college posters previewing the changes had been written on by people protesting “please do not destroy the Old College’s beauty”.
“Will the development cause the old college to lose it’s charm?” Mr Apichella asked the Cambrian News.
“[It is] important that we enter into a dialogue about the changes rather then simply defacing Aberystwyth heritage without discussing changes with the people.
“It is important to get more people involved with the beautiful building and that we utilise its potential as a communal space of learning and development, but not at the expense of its artistic and charming beauty.”
An Aberystwyth university spokesperson told the Cambrian News: “Old College is a highly treasured Grade I listed building that has huge significance for the town, for Wales and beyond.
“We are very excited to be working on proposals for renovation thanks to the award of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant last year.
“All plans to restore the building and enhance the features, along with decisions about furnishings and decoration, will be discussed in detail with Cadw and Ceredigion Council in line with the guidelines and obligations relating to listed buildings.
“Many people have a great affection for the building and a stake in its future, and we will be consulting with the public on the proposals in the next few months” here.