Regeneration work in Port Talbot has received another major boost, with funding of over £9.64m secured by Neath Port Talbot Council from the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places programme.
The Council’s bid comprised a number of projects to be delivered working alongside key partners, including town centre housing developments providing mixed tenure and affordable housing; Parkway Integrated Transport Hub; Plaza Arts and Cultural Centre; an Employability Centre in Water Street; and new links connecting the town with the surrounding area.
Further discussions with the Welsh Government will determine the final package of projects to be approved as part of a major programme of housing-led regeneration for the centre of Port Talbot.
The work will seek to transform the living and working environment of the town centre, and link with the recent mixed use development at Harbourside; new developments on Aberafan Seafront; and ongoing regeneration activities underway in the adjacent Sandfields and Aberavon Communities First areas.
The Council will also be looking to maximise local employment benefits through the delivery of the programme, continuing the work which led to over 40 local people gaining jobs during the construction of nearby Harbour Way.
Welcoming the announcement Council Leader, Cllr Ali Thomas, said: “This is again fantastic news for the residents and businesses of Port Talbot and surrounding areas. This funding will enable a programme of development which will build on other recent successes such as the completion of Harbour Way, the first phase of the town’s Harbourside quarter and the redevelopment of the Parkway station”.
“There is now real momentum behind our regeneration programme for the county borough, and whilst this remains a very tough time for local councils financially, we are committed to securing the necessary funding to deliver our vision for a prosperous and attractive Neath Port Talbot”.
“The programme will bring about a genuine transformation of the town, ensuring Port Talbot plays a major role in the future of the Swansea Bay City Region”.
Councillors in Neath Port Talbot have endorsed the development of a feasibility study and business plan for the restoration of the former Plaza cinema complex in Port Talbot.
Members of the Council’s Economic and Community Regeneration Cabinet Board agreed proposals which will look at establishing ideas, costs, resources, facilities and funding sources for the listed building which could further enhance the regeneration of the town.
Work has been progressing in Port Talbot to help sustain the town centre and to take advantage of the significant infrastructure projects which are underway or about to start.
Urban Public Realm work has been undertaken in the town centre and the Research & Development Village is nearing completion on Harbourside. The £107 million Harbour Way project is due to be opened in October and it is expected that work will start on the new £9.5 million Parkway station later this year.
A feasibility study and business plan will look at specific costs but it is anticipated that any restoration will be in the region of £5 million.
In order to take forward the proposals, it’s intended to establish a Plaza Working Group made up of local community groups and elected members.
Neath Port Talbot Council Leader Ali Thomas said: “The Plaza Cinema building is in a very strategic position in the town centre right opposite the railway station. There is a lot of regeneration work going on in Port Talbot such as Harbourside and Harbour Way so it’s important that we look at what is possible to achieve with this iconic building in partnership with the local community.”
Beverley Carver, Plaza group secretary, said: ” The Plaza steering group has been liaising with the council for the last 18 months, and we are delighted that its future is being considered. We are hoping that the building could be restored to its former glory and that the people of Port Talbot will be able to enjoy the Plaza once again.”
Broadcast in August 2010 on BBC Radio 4 the hour long show see’s Micheal talking about Richard and of course their beloved town Port Talbot. It includes many local people related to the late Richard Burton but basically it’s one Port Talbot boy talking about another…Hit play below.