Choosing the Location
Cramped, inefficiently laid out and with old equipment, by the 1960s the Royal Mint at Tower Hill in London was no longer an ideal location. Rebuilding had been in prospect for some time but it was the announcement in 1966 that Britain would adopt a new decimal currency, with its associated need for hundreds of millions of new coins, that brought matters to a head. Expansion was not really possible at Tower Hill and it was decided to find a new location outside London. By January 1967 more than 20 sites had been considered, to be reduced to a short list of seven.
On this short list was Llantrisant in South Wales, just a few miles from Cardiff. It was close enough to London to tempt existing staff to relocate, with plenty of space and a readily available workforce. In addition, it had the support of James Callaghan, who as Chancellor of the Exchequer was Master of the Mint and also an MP for Cardiff. He freely admitted that he did not care in which valley the Mint was located so long as it was a Welsh valley.
Llantrisant was announced as the new site for the Royal Mint in April 1967. Clearance of the site began soon after and by August construction was under way. The Deputy Master, Jack James, promised that ‘the new buildings rising from the Welsh countryside will for the first time for decades provide adequate space and permit the introduction of modern production plant and methods’.
View possible locations