On April 24, The Royal Mint has today unveiled plans to develop a visitor centre at its headquarters in south Wales.
For the first time in its 1,000 year history, Britain’s oldest manufacturing organization, and the world’s leading export mint, will officially open its doors to the general public, allowing them to get behind the scenes and see for themselves the people and processes that put the pounds and pennies in their pockets.
Construction of the purpose built visitor centre at The Royal Mint’s home in Llantrisant will begin this spring, subject to planning permission, and is expected to be completed during 2015.
Visitors will have the opportunity to take a tour of The Royal Mint to see exactly how the coins they use every day are designed and made.
This will not just be of interest to UK visitors; The Royal Mint currently makes coins and medals for approximately 60 countries worldwide, so visitors from around the world will be able to see where their coins are created.
And in an opportunity that is sure to delight young and old alike, guests will have the ability to strike their own coin as an everlasting memento of their visit.
As well as gaining first-hand knowledge of the journey which coins and medals make from start to finish, visitors will also be able to enjoy a range of static and engaging, interactive experiences that will bring to life The Royal Mint’s rich heritage and reveal many rare and unusual coins and medals from the across the world.
The new visitor centre has been made possible after The Royal Mint secured a grant of £2.3million from The Welsh Government to carry out the work, contributing to the total £7.7million costs of the project.
The new Visitor Centre will be a signature development in the south Wales area and incorporate a rich heritage resource alongside live factory working environment. It will be a truly unique visitor experience with up to 200,000 UK and overseas visitors expected each year.
The funding will enable The Royal Mint to safeguard 147 jobs within its commemorative coin division while also creating a number of new jobs both in the development and staffing of the visitor centre.
Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin and Bullion at The Royal Mint, said, “The Royal Mint is a highly secure, Ministry of Defence-protected site which is not usually open to the public, with the exception of very special occasions and by invitation only. We receive large numbers of requests to visit from members of the public every year and have been exploring the opportunity of a visitor centre for some time. It gives us great pleasure to announce that this can now go ahead, and that people will be able to come here and see the work of one of Britain’s national treasures.
“The visitor centre will enable us to take people behind the scenes of over 1,000 years of coin making history, to demonstrate our long-standing heritage and craftsmanship, and the innovation that harnesses state-of-the-art technology to achieve the highest standard of minting. We supply circulating and commemorative coins, as well as medals, to more than 60 different countries and as such we believe the new centre has the potential to draw visitors from all over the world.”
Announcing the funding during a visit to The Royal Mint, Tourism Minister Edwina Hart said, “The new visitor centre will be an all year and all weather visitor attraction showcasing a unique product and global brand and will incorporate a rich heritage resource alongside a live factory working environment. This project has the potential to be an iconic attraction for Wales.”
About The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is one of the world’s oldest and most venerable organizations, with an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1000 years. Though more than ten centuries have passed since then, The Royal Mint’s reputation for both quality and integrity has always endured.
While The Royal Mint’s finest traditions are always respected, it continually innovates in order to stay at the forefront of world minting, embracing the latest production techniques and technology in order to offer excellence to our clients across the globe. By underpinning our proud heritage with a highly progressive outlook, coins from The Royal Mint remain a byword for trust and reliability the world over.
There were estimated to be 28.9 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2013, with a total face value of £3.9 billion, all manufactured by The Royal Mint. In total, 1.4 billion UK coins were issued during 2012-13.
As well as over 1,000 years of producing British coinage, The Royal Mint has long been trusted with the currencies of other countries. It currently serves more than 100 issuing authorities around the world and meets approximately 15% of global demand, making us the world’s leading export mint.
Artists Conception of the New facility :