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Aberdare is a town fighting to stay alive.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have announced on the 19 September that there will be grants scheme available and the Cabinet agree to the introduction of a Town Centre Maintenance Grant scheme which will be piloted in Tonypandy and Mountain Ash. 


Whether this is because we at AberdareOnline highlighted the state of empty and rundown properties in Mountain Ash on the 16 August, but who knows how this council functions. Sprucing up shop fronts does not fill the premises with local business or any other business?


Following on from the article residents went on Twitter to as the question about the state of some properties in Aberdare, and also the volume of empty shops in the town. One of the main concerns was how some landlord’s neglected property through lack of maintenance as most were in the Aberdare conservation area.


Having walked around the Town there are quite a number of empty properties now and the question is will it get better or will more shops close. The big problem for Aberdare is online sales the Cyfarthfa Retail Park just a few miles away in Merthyr, and now M&S store has opened there, contrasting with the Pontypridd store closing down in September 2015. Add to that Trago Mills will soon be opening in Merthyr with over 300 staff, will this have a knock-on effect for local traders in Aberdare, only time will tell.


Did the £7.7m project Rhondda Cynon Taf Council spent on the town in 2011 help get more footfalls into the town? Just looking round there is a lot of neglected properties, with utility companies not helping the look of the town when they don’t replace the paving’s after excavation, with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council having to be prompted by local residents to get paving replaced.


The question is has Merthyr got it right? If so what’s radically wrong at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council? The council seems content to allow development of housing in Cynon Valley and resident’s having to travel out of Cynon Valley to shop at retail outlets in Merthyr or Cardiff.


Thriving or surviving? How Aberdare Market traders see the future of their town


Residents have to travel to shop if items are not available local, as well as having to travel to work and/or find work on public transport that is not fit for purpose.

Beyond Retail Redefining the shape and purpose of town centres

Regeneration programme starts in Aberdare town centre


  • 15 SEP 2011

A MULTI-MILLION pound project to transform Aberdare town has begun after months of consultation.

The regeneration scheme has taken a giant leap forward with main contractor Alun Griffiths Ltd setting up home in a section of the Crown Buildings car park in the town.

Shoppers and commuters are being promised massive improvements in four key areas – Commercial Street, Canon Street, Victoria Square and Library Square.

The improvements will introduce high quality designs, paving and new street furniture including benches and street lighting. The work will also provide a revamped public space at Library Square.

To mark the occasion, Councillor Paul Cannon joined fellow cabinet member Andrew Morgan at tFacee project launch, alongside ward councillors Mike Forey and Steve Bradwick.

Mr Cannon, cabinet member for economic development and safer communities, said: “This announcement marks yet another milestone in the plans that will totally transform this historic town.

“We are so pleased to announce that work is now ready to begin and we look forward to seeing the changes in Aberdare over the coming months which I’m sure will be very impressive.

“The physical enhancement of Aberdare town centre should boost confidence in the town and increase the number of visitors. This would not only enhance pride in Aberdare, but also attract new businesses and create more job opportunities for local people.

“The council now looks forward to working with Alun Griffiths Ltd and Capita Symonds in the delivery of the public realm project.”

Plans for the multi-million-pound project were unveiled to the public in an exhibition in June at St Elvan’s Church. The start of the works will see those plans become a reality.

The £7.7m project also includes town centre property improvements under the Aberdare Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) and Townscape Enhancement Programme (TEP ).

These offer financial support to businesses and property owners to make building improvements to enhance the quality of premises and bring disused space back into use.

The council announced at the end of November 2010 that it had secured the investment package for Aberdare, including money from the Welsh Government through the European Regional Development Fund, Heads of the Valleys Programme and the Targeted Match Fund.

The remainder of the funding package is provided by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cadw and the private sector.