At a meeting last week, Councillors at Neath Port Talbot Council received an update on progress made on Port Talbot’s Vibrant and Viable Places (VVP) Regeneration Programme.
The Council had secured £11.47m funding from the Welsh Government to undertake a number of Regeneration projects in the town centre, working alongside key partners.
The £35m housing led regeneration programme has already provided significant improvements in the town with some projects completed and others underway. It is also proving to be a great success in creating benefits for local communities.
The programme demonstrates the commitment of Neath Port Talbot Council to build a better future and transform the living and working environment of the town. The overall aim is to regenerate the town centre, provide new homes and improve existing homes, provide space for new businesses and create new transport and communication links.
Projects completed include Green Park where 34 new residential units are already occupied, the old Aberavon Fire Station has been redeveloped into an Employability Centre and two projects, i.e. Harbour Walk and Green Park Riverside have created new pedestrian and cycling links between the town centre and surrounding areas including Harbourside and Aberavon Seafront.
One of the early successes of the programme has been the Housing Renewal project which has seen over 300 properties receive energy efficiency and exterior improvement work for homes in Port Talbot, Aberavon and Sandfields.
Projects underway include the redevelopment of Aberafan House which is due for completion in February 2018. Also, demolition work is underway at the Glanafan School site and at the former Police Station site. These two projects will provide 77 new homes and new commercial space in the heart of the town centre.
Work on the Integrated Transport Hub is also progressing well and should be completed by the end of this year.
One of the key outcomes of the VVP Programme is to provide local supply chain benefits and training and employment opportunities for the local community.
Whilst the final community benefits outputs will not be available until all projects have been completed, it is expected that all programme outputs will be met with many being exceeded.
The Council’s Regeneration and Economic Development team works closely with delivery partners to ensure that as many local contractors as possible are carrying out the work and that opportunities for training and apprenticeships are offered to local people.
Councillor Annette Wingrave, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development said: “This Programme is of great importance to Port Talbot. We have already seen major improvements to the overall environment of the town and there are more to follow.
“It complements other successes such as the developments on Harbourside and the redevelopment of the Parkway station and 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”.
For more information on regeneration in the county borough visit: www.npt.gov.uk/places