ARCHAEOLOGISTS concerned about the future of Cosmeston Medieval Village have been joined by Penarth Assembly Member Vaughan Gething, in calling on the Vale Council to think again on its proposals for the site.

As previously reported, the council identified changes to the Medieval Village as part of proposed savings agreed at the end of February.

The proposal involves opening the village up as free entry, resulting in a reduction in staff and savings of £60,000 per year.

If approved, the plan would also see an end to the popular family events and shows held throughout the year, unless third-party interest is shown.

The Vale Council is formally consulting staff and their trade unions, and if given the go-ahead, the plans will see the removal of two permanent staff and a further 12 casual staff who are brought in for the various events throughout the year.

John Hines, Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University, said the fear was that the village would lose its ‘living’ element.

"What we must be afraid of is that the visitor experience will be severely reduced from that of a living site, with its people, animals and gardens, to walking around a dead and decaying group of buildings," he said.

"Cosmeston Medieval Village is the only reconstructed site of this date in the world. It is a very special resource with enormous tourist potential, and I do not think that has yet been fully appreciated."

Community Archaeologist Dr Paula Jones added: "Cosmeston Medieval Village is quite exceptional in offering a fantastic range of facilities and events in an ideal and easily accessible location just outside the city of Cardiff.

"The site and its dedicated staff enable every interested member of the public to come and get involved in archaeology, and in every sense to experience the wonders of our heritage first hand.

"It would be tragic to lose that."

Vaughan Gething AM said he had sought a meeting with Cllr Anthony Ernest, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure.

"If implemented, the plans will have a hugely detrimental impact on the activities, events and educational experience on offer at Cosmeston Village," he said.

"Instead, the Vale Council should be looking at ways to take full advantage of the assets at Cosmeston from both an educational and tourism perspective."

A council spokesman said: "The consultation is still ongoing and no decisions have been made as yet. We have consulted both staff and unions."