YOUR AM WRITES: William Graham, South Wales East AM

THE retention of the Ryder Cup last weekend by the European team at Medinah, USA, echoed the thrilling Celtic Manor tournament of 2010.

It is not too late to establish a lasting legacy of the Celtic Manor Ryder Cup that has a positive impact upon economic investment, tourism, sporting activities and healthy lifestyles.

The opportunities to expand sports tourism, and increase the region’s economic profile, remain achievable goals. However these opportunities must be grasped in the near future or they will slip through our fingers and be lost.

It may be many years before we are able to attract another major event to our area. That is why it is vital we are able to ensure that we realise the maximum benefit that can be gained from our natural environment and historic heritage.

IT is 10 years since the discovery of the Newport Medieval Ship during the excavation for the Riverfront Theatre’s orchestra pit.

Since 2002, conservationists have been undertaking the painstaking job of conserving the ship; cleaning and drying out the timbers, readying them to be eventually rebuilt.

Local and international interest in the ship has not diminished over this time.

This global interest indicates that we require a specific maritime museum to house the medieval ship, preferably along the riverfront, that will realise the potential of becoming a worldwide attraction.

The Newport Ship has rightly been compared with Mary Rose and I note that a new museum is being built for Henry VIII’s warship, a boat-shaped building positioned over the dry dock in which the Mary Rose currently sits.

A comparable innovatively designed building will be a positive addition to a riverside development that includes the University and Riverfront Theatre.

We need to review how we promote and maintain Roman Caerleon. The 2011 excavations revealed the site of a major sea port. We must realise both the archaeological significance of this find together with the importance amphitheatre, the baths and the finest remains of a Roman barracks in Europe.

Because “they have always been there” we overlook their value in promoting educational study, tourism and economic growth.

I am deeply saddened to see cycle tracks around these sites and hear reports of people riding over these monuments. It is time we all united in stopping such acts of vandalism.

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