Levelling Up Fund
Neath Port Talbot Council has secured over £17.7 million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to invest in the Vale of Neath Heritage Corridor Visitor Attractor programme in the county borough.
Announced by the Chancellor in the 2021 Autumn Budget, the £4.8billion Levelling Up Fund invests in infrastructure to improve everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centre and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.
Vale of Neath Heritage Corridor Visitor Attractor
The Vale of Neath Heritage Corridor Visitor Attractor is a package bid based in the Vale of Neath in south west Wales which will deliver two transformational projects which form part of the ‘Vale of Neath Heritage Corridor Masterplan’.
The masterplan outlines key investment opportunities to establish the Vale of Neath as a heritage and natural environment led visitor destination. The LUF funding will be the catalyst for the delivery of the masterplan leading to the growth of the visitor economy in the Vale of Neath. The two interlinked projects are:
Waterfall Country Pontneddfechan visitor infrastructure scheme
£6.9 million has been secured for the Waterfall Country Pontneddfechan visitor infrastructure scheme located to the north of the valley will address significant pressures being experienced by the host community by creating improved access to services in addition to supporting the visitor economy through the delivery of strategic visitor infrastructure, including:
- a visitor hub gateway building incorporating; public toilets, a farm / village shop for the benefit of local community and visitors
- family friendly visitor accommodation
- a permanent parking solution to include formal and overflow parking, coach and minibus parking and EV charging facilities
- public realm/ visitor gateway improvements to enhance the sense of arrival in the village to include; a village square offering opportunities for small events such as pop-up markets, outdoor seating and safe pedestrian routes with a viewing platform
- interpretation and signage
Gnoll Estate Country Park Heritage and Visitor Infrastructure
£10.8 million has been secured for the Gnoll Estate Country Park Heritage and Visitor Infrastructure located to the south of the valley close to Neath town centre will improve and restore the heritage features as a key aspect of the visitor experience and will develop on site visitor accommodation.
The project will support the growth of the visitor economy, enhance the appeal of the park to attract additional visitors and will bring the heritage of the park to the forefront of the visitor experience. This project forms part of a phased approach to develop the Gnoll Estate Master Plan, LUF will invest in the following:
- modernisation of the exiting visitor centre and café
- diversifying the play offer
- Conserving and opening up access to important heritage features including Gnoll House cellars and cascades
- improved interpretation of the country park
- enhanced biodiversity and nature conservation
- enhanced physical linkages with the neighbouring Woodland Trust site to double the available land for outdoor leisure at this location
- enhanced car parking provision (incorporating EV charging facilities)
The package bid is a key element in developing a ‘string of pearls’ of key destinations in the Vale of Neath which focus on heritage and the great outdoors linked by sustainability supported by a collaborative / partnership approach with the public, private and third sectors creating pride in place and increasing life chances.
Vale of Neath to become major heritage attraction after £17.7m Levelling Up Fund success.
Neath LUF Bid redacted (PDF 2.28 MB)
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