Aberdare town centre is set to benefit from a further £276,000 of enhancement works, thanks to the support of the Welsh Government’s Heads of the Valleys regeneration fund.
The Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis announced that 11 projects in the Heads of the Valleys regeneration area are to be awarded over £1.2m.
Following the efforts of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to secure much-needed external funding on behalf of its communities, Aberdare’s Public Realm Enhancement Programme will receive £156,482 and a further £120,000 has been awarded to provide a high quality stone wall pedestrian barrier along the A4059.
The news comes as the Council’s impressive £7.7million regeneration package for Aberdare reaches its final phase.
For more than a year the extensive refurbishment work has physically enhanced the town centre and increased confidence in the local economy by attracting new businesses and creating more job opportunities.
Cllr Paul Cannon, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Community Safety explained: “Traditionally known as the Queen of the Valleys, Aberdare can once again live up to that reputation through the improvements to its street scene, development of new public spaces and refurbishment of landmark properties.
”We worked hard to bid for and secure the additional funding we needed from the Heads of the Valley programme to allow further regeneration work to be carried out, which is yet further proof of the ongoing commitment to deliver an impressive town centre and establish Aberdare as a flourishing South Wales destination.
“The work in itself boasts not only the local economy, but the confidence of shoppers to visit there and businesses to invest in the town. This results in fostering a vibrant and sustainable economic centre.”
The additional funding will add value to the existing project by introducing paving improvements in Whitcombe Street, High Street, areas around both archways, Church Street, Green St Chapel and Weatheral Street, as well as new street furniture alongside the Victoria Square parking bays.
A further £120,000 has also been awarded to provide an alternative pedestrian barrier between Duke Street and the A4059 Aberdare by-pass. The funding will allow construction of an ornamental wall and railings to blend more sympathetically into the surrounding public realm works.
On making the announcement Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis said, “Funding local initiatives such as these can help make Welsh communities better places to live, work and visit, whilst promoting job creation to complete the construction side of things.
“The funding also supports other regeneration commitments, particularly developing our town centres and encouraging tourism and once completed the projects can boost the local economy through increased visitor numbers and trade.
“All the successful projects will add value to ongoing regeneration schemes within the Heads of the Valleys regeneration area and contribute towards bringing further significant regeneration development opportunities.”
In 2012/13 the Welsh Government has committed a total of £12,500,000 for regeneration projects in the Heads of the Valleys Regeneration Area. Over 30 projects have been approved with Welsh Government funding attracting significant EU, Heritage Lottery Fund, private sector and other financial investment into the area.