The Royal Mint Experience has reopened its doors and although it might be a little different, it’s still the same attraction we know and love.
It is one of the top-rated tourist attractions in south Wales and it is home to a variety of special coins and rare historical memorabilia, alongside exhibitions and events that are suitable for all ages.
The Royal Mint Experience in Llantrisant has always been a fun day out and it can't wait to welcome families again.
Tickets are available to book now via the website and like many places in Wales, The Royal Mint Experience is abiding by government guidelines and has implemented a range of measures to ensure a safe environment for visitors.
To accompany the reopening, The Royal Mint has revealed time-lapse footage of its curators reinstalling historic items for the public to enjoy – including a rare 1933 penny, and objects relating to former Master of the Mint, Sir Isaac Newton.
Visitors returning will also have the opportunity to strike their very own Iguanodon 50p, part of The Royal Mint’s ‘Dinosauria Collection’, and enter the secret world of spies, secret missions and money in the 'Currency Undercover' temporary exhibition.
All of this can be enjoyed in a safe environment as The Royal Mint Experience has been working hard behind the scenes to implement new measures. For example, there is a limited number of visitors each day and tours are limited to seven people, so booking a ticket is essential.
Clare MacLennan, director of commemorative coin for The Royal Mint, said: “We can’t wait to open the doors to The Royal Mint Experience this week, and welcome visitors back for a safe, enjoyable day out. Our team has been working hard to ensure visitors have an unforgettable experience – exploring over 1,100 years of history, as well as being able to strike their own dinosaur coin and explore our new ‘Currency Undercover’ exhibition.”
The experience also has a one-way system and it is recommended that everyone wears a face mask. Plus, don’t forget to take advantage of the hand sanitiser stations throughout The Royal Mint Experience.
However, this isn’t the only thing that has changed at The Royal Mint Experience. During lockdown it became the site for visor production, supplying more than one million visors to protect NHS employees.
The Royal Mint is Britain’s oldest company and although it is famous for making coins, it’s also so much more. With more then 1,000 employees, from engineers to product developers, it saw an opportunity to make the most of this talent.
Leighton John, director of operations at The Royal Mint, decided to set his engineers a challenge after realising that there was a lack of PPE in hospitals.
He said: “Covid-19 has challenged us all and at The Royal Mint we wanted to help but didn’t know where to start. One day I was speaking to my sister, who is a midwife, and she mention they needed more PPE. That’s when I thought about setting a challenge of building a visor within 24 hours.”
The challenge was a huge success and the engineers managed to create a prototype within just eight hours. This led to some testing with Royal Glamorgan Hospital and after a few tweaks it was ready for production.
“One of the challenges we faced was that we needed to get the visors accredited because it is an item of personal protective equipment,” explained Leighton. “Luckily we were one of the first companies to be put through the Government's fast track approval process and it was approved in 24 hours.”
Four days after making the initial prototype, production began at The Royal Mint Experience. The Royal Mint built an assembly line and soon employees were making a visor every two minutes.
Production increased and within 10 days, it was making a visor every two seconds. The Royal Mint then received formal orders from the NHS and it has now delivered more than one million visors. The Royal Mint is set to make a total of two million.
Leighton added: “The feedback has been excellent and staff at the ICU in Royal Glamorgan Hospital are even calling them ‘magic visors’ because not a single member of staff contracted Covid-19 while working during the pandemic.”
The Royal Mint Experience has now created a new section that explores the story behind the visors, so people can find out more about this incredible work.
As The Royal Mint Experience welcomes visitors again, it is also thinking about the next few months - including Christmas. Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting festive plans to be announced soon...
Current opening times at The Royal Mint Experience are Friday to Sunday plus bank holidays, 10am to 5pm. Find out more by visiting the website.