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Exciting old Plans For Mountain Ash?

Plans to redevelop the heart of Mountain Ash town centre, supporting exciting new opportunities and schemes in the area, have been approved by Cabinet. 

Proposals include the complete transformation of Rhos Square in Oxford Street, known locally as Guto’s Square, creating additional parking closer to the town centre and improved access for visitors and shoppers. 

Rhos Square is the focal point of the town centre, with the bronze statue of legendary Welsh runner Guto Nyth Bran, the inspiration behind the world-famous Nos Galan Road Races, as its centrepiece.  The area provides direct access to the town from the two main car parks and railway station. The area is also the location of the town’s weekly open-air market as well as the town’s public toilets. 

Improved car parking will allow improved access into the town for shoppers and visitors alike. 

The proposed Mountain Ash town centre framework aims to bring together a series of investment projects that will improve access to the town centre and realign key services for local people - including exciting opportunities which are being presented through the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal and the Valleys Taskforce. 

This includes substantial investment in public transport, such as an increased train service from two trains per hour to four trains per hour at Mountain Ash railway station, which is situated in the town centre. 

Other key schemes included in the draft Mountain Ash town centre regeneration framework, to be considered by Cabinet, are: 

  • The development of a Community Hub, bringing a range of community-based services into one ideally-located building to serve the people of the area.
  • The Town Centre Maintenance Grant Scheme, providing financial support to traders, property owners, including vacant properties in order for them to undertake minor improvements and maintenance works, along with improvements to the external fronts of town centre properties. 
  • Plans to develop Extra Care Housing for the Elderly and Vulnerable in the area, delivering new and affordable flexible and adaptable accommodation. 
  • The multi-million pound Mountain Ash Cross Valley Link, improving accessibility and connectivity in and area where limited cross-valley linkage currently causes significant congestion at peak times. 
  • The development of an Integrated Primary Care Facility, providing state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in the heart of the town centre for the benefit of the wider community. 

In order to facilitate the proposals for Rhos Square, Cabinet has approved the draft plans and agree to submit a planning application for the proposed redevelopment. 

Councillor Robert Bevan, Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “These are exciting plans for Mountain Ash town centre - the time is now right to take full advantage of the investment and regeneration opportunity that presents itself. 

“The redevelopment of Rhos Square will create an attractive and inviting place for residents and visitors, opening up the area while at the same time celebrating our past, with the statue of Guto Nyth Bran taking pride of place within the development. 

“The town centre has a distinctive role in the heart of the community of Mountain Ash, a town steeped in history. Now is the time to secure its long-term future as a key place to live, work and visit. 

“The Council is committed to supporting the regeneration of town centres and encouraging private sector investment in the high street economy, as set out in its Corporate Plan, The Way Ahead

“In order to deliver our commitment and to tackle the many challenges currently faced by our town centres, the solution requires an integrated, coordinated and holistic approach to town centre regeneration that harnesses the many exciting opportunities currently presented though the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal. 

“Improvements to the rail service in Mountain Ash is wonderful news for commuters and should help increase footfall in the town as more and more people are able to visit using public transport.”

Named after the famous Mountain Ash tree, the town is home to one of the oldest rugby clubs in Wales, formed in 1875. The famous Welsh hymn Calon Lan was also written by Daniel James in the 1890s when he lived in Mountain Ash. It was first performed in the town’s Bethania Chapel.

Posted on Wednesday 16th January 2019