14 November 2008
Almost £2 million is to be ploughed into projects to regenerate Blaenau Gwent - thanks to partnership working between Blaenau Gwent Council and the Heads of the Valleys Programme.
The Council has won grants that will help to breathe new life into some rundown areas. Extra parking is being provided at Ebbw Vale Parkway station – the terminus for the highly successful Ebbw Valley Railway built by a partnership led by Blaenau Gwent Council and opened earlier this year.
Voluntary organisations in Blaenau Gwent have successfully secured £760,000 funding for their own projects with Council backing.
Cllr Don Wilcox, Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said:
“This is excellent news for Blaenau Gwent. It shows that the Council and voluntary organisations are working closely together – and that our partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government through its Heads of the Valleys Programme is helping local people and local communities.
“These projects will improve town centres and surrounding communities. They are part of our wide-ranging regeneration strategy developed and implemented by the Council in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Heads of the Valleys Programme.”
The Heads of the Valleys Programme is a 15-year regeneration strategy developed in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen councils. It aims to address economic inactivity to help make the Heads of the Valleys a rich, dynamic network of communities.
The funding includes:
£200,000 - to buy and demolish a number of rundown properties in Church Street, Ebbw Vale. United Welsh Housing Association has also secured £160,000 to renovate 44/46 Church Street for use by Ebbw Vale Development Trust.
£230,000 - to acquire properties in the town centre in Abertillery. Numbers 4 -10 Tillery St will be demolished early in 2009. Consultants will then prepare a report into redevelopment options for the site. One such option is the development of a community hub incorporating office, commercial and business incubation space.
Demolition of numbers 1 - 3 Mitre Street started at the end of October. The space will provide an extra eight car parking spaces and two disabled bays next to the Metropole Theatre.
£100,000 - for environmental improvements in lower Blaina (Red Lion/Institute area)
£100,000 - for improvements to commercial premises in Tredegar town centre to try and boost the employment potential of town centres.
£75,000 - for signage and street furniture in Ebbw Vale to help improve accessibility and promote the town centre
£173,000 - to create extra car parking spaces and disabled bays at Ebbw Vale Parkway station.