A CHILDREN’S play area described as past its sell by date has sparked a lively debate, with local bodies declaring their commitment to revamp it.

Two years ago, Rhayader declared itself the ‘the Outdoors Capital of Wales’, yet locals fear the spiralling state of its Waun Capel park is enough to drive anyone indoors.

The area is crumbling, with the play equipment dated, fencing and hedges in need of repair and litter and dog waste problematic.

Locals have vented their “disgust” and claim it is not a good advert for a town that capitalised on the beauty of its surroundings to lead a targeted tourism campaign in the summer of 2021.


Rhayader 2000 worked with Rhayader Town Council's new website in July 2021 was intended to boost Rhayader as a tourism destination, and attracted national media attention, but the state of Waun Capel has left locals wondering why nothing has been done to give the area a facelift, especially when new parks have risen up in neighbouring communities like Llanyre, Llandrindod Wells and Llanidloes.

One commenter online said they were "disgusted" by the facility, while another said they would prefer to take their young ones to Llandrindod.

County Times:  This swing set in Waun Capel Park looks rusted and worn This swing set in Waun Capel Park looks rusted and worn (Image: Matt Jones)

Another local resident posted pictures a few days later, showing outdated equipment that has become engulfed by long grass.

Local county councillor Angela Davies and Rhayader mayor Rhys Thomas, say they have so far been rebuffed in hopes of attracting investment.

“Like others I am very concerned about the deterioration of the play area in Waun Capel park,” Cllr Davies said.

“I have already spoken to trustees of the park, to members of Rhayader Town Council and to officers in Powys County Council (PCC).

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“In an idea world I would like to see PCC undertake a full refurbishment of the play park. Waun Capel park is an important facility for residents and visitors to Rhayader.

“Unfortunately, I have been told by Powys officers that no funding exists for this work. Naturally, I am very disappointed with this response.

“However, I am an optimist so have arranged a meeting with the relevant bodies to discuss working together to find a solution.”

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Cllr Thomas said the issue is “on the council’s radar”, that discussions are ongoing with the county council, and he admitted the park issued needs to be urgently addressed.

“Over the past few years we as a town council have been constantly trying to get things improved down that park and hitting our heads against a brick wall,” said Cllr Thomas, in response to criticism online.

“That said, as a council, we have invested over £5,000 down Waun Capel park to improve facilities which have been requested via applications, but we don’t manage the site, we don’t own the site so we can only do so much."

A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “The county council is responsible for 60 playgrounds across the county.

"Due to financial pressures, the council only has a limited budget to repair and maintain existing playground facilities and has no budget to purchase new equipment.

“However, we work with community groups and town and community councils who have provided funding to improve playgrounds in their areas.

“A council officer will be meeting with local community representatives and members of the Waun Capel Trust to discuss this playground.”