Live updates

Royal Mint visitor centre: What to expect

The Royal Mint is opening its doors to the public for the first time in its 1,000-year history.

Britain's oldest manufacturing organisation started in the Tower of London, but since 1968 its headquarters have been in Llantrisant.

A grant from the Welsh Government means it can now build a new visitor centre. Our reporter Alexandra Lodge has been given a sneak preview of what people can expect to see.

Advertisement

Royal Mint considering visitor centre 'for some time'

The Royal Mint says it has been exploring plans for a visitor centre "for some time" after receiving large numbers of visitor requests each year.

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.

– Shane Bissett, Royal Mint

Officials today announced plans to develop a £7.7 million visitor centre at the mint in Llantrisant.

It will be the first time in its 1,000-year history that the doors will be officially opened to the public.

Royal Mint to open doors to public for first time

Nickel-plated steel blanks come off the production line ready to be pressed in 10p pieces Credit: PA

The Royal Mint has unveiled plans to throw open its doors to the public for the first time in its 1,000 year history.

Officials today announced they are planning to develop a £7.7 million visitor centre at the mint in Llantrisant, South Wales.

Visitors will be allowed to look behind the scenes and see for themselves the people and processes responsible for the coins we use every day.

They will also have the opportunity to strike their own coin as a memento of their visit.

The project has been made possible after the Royal Mint secured a grant of £2.3million from the Welsh Government.

Construction of the visitor centre will begin this spring, subject to planning permission.

From cargo to coin: shipwrecked silver struck at Royal Mint

The Royal Mint in Llantrisant is striking a limited number of coins from the cargo of a British merchant ship - more than 70 years after it was originally meant to be delivered.

The SS Gairsoppa was carrying silver bullion bars over from India when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1941. The ship and its cargo were eventually found 300 miles off the Irish coast in 2011. Dean Thomas reports.

Sunken treasure: Royal Mint strikes coins 70 years later

The Royal Mint in Llantrisant is striking a set of silver coins from the bullion recovered from a merchant ship that sank during the Second World War.

A 'limited number' of silver coins are being struck from the bullion.

British steam merchant ship SS Gairsoppa was torpedoed by a German U-boat in February 1941 off the coast of Ireland, whilst it was carrying a large shipment of silver bullion bars from India, destined for the Royal Mint.

The ship was heading for the Royal Mint when it was sunk more than 70 years ago. Credit: Odyssey Marine Exploration

The ship and its cargo were located in September 2011, and the silver bullion recovered by marine exploration company Odyssey Marine Exploration.

The bullion was three miles underwater - which they say made it the largest and deepest recovery of precious metal from a shipwreck in history.

The coins are edged with the name SS Gairsoppa.

Shane Bissett from the Royal Mint said: "The traditional Britannia coin design is the perfect image for the coins struck from SS Gairsoppa's long-lost cargo. We are so pleased to be able to bring these coins to the market at long last, albeit more than 70 years later than expected."

Advertisement

Protest held over changes to school catchment areas

Around 300 people turned out for today's march Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Around 300 people have held a protest in Pontyclun today about proposed changes to school catchment areas, which could see pupils attending a different school.

Protesters outside Y Pant Comprehensive Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

At the moment, pupils in Llantrisant go to Y Pant Comprehensive, but under plans being considered by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, pupils from Llantrisant and Penygawsi primary schools would be moved to Bryncelynnog in the future.

Parents say they're not happy at the idea, due to the distances involved to get to the school.

A spokesman for RCT Council say they're in the process of a consultation, and will take all views on board.

Silver coins for babies arriving same day as new royal

The Royal Mint says it will give away free silver pennies to babies born on the same day as the new royal arrival Credit: Royal Mint

The Royal Mint in Llantrisant is giving babies born on the same day as the future monarch a suitably royal welcome by presenting them with a silver penny struck with the year of their birth.

Crossing the palm of a new born with silver or offering them a silver penny is traditionally seen as a way to wish them wealth and good health.

Parents who wish to claim their silver penny need to go to www.facebook.com/theroyalmint and register the birth of their child.

Parents have sixty days following the birth to obtain one of the 2,013 coins that are to be made available by The Royal Mint.

Royal fans outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge is now in labour. Credit: PA

Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin at the Royal Mint said, "The birth of the royal baby will be a joyous occasion not just for Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

"However, it will also be a special day for many mothers and fathers across the country as they too welcome the arrival of their new baby, hence why we wanted to extend this historical moment to them."

Load more updates