The Council has welcomed a significant £10m Welsh Government investment for its flagship Taff Vale redevelopment – another vital landmark for this strategically-important scheme being delivered by the Council.
The allocation of funding, which will contribute to the overall cost of the development, was announced by Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans during a visit to the Pontypridd town centre site on March 8, as the Council’s scheme becomes the first to get underway as part of the Welsh Government’s £110m Building for the Future programme.
Supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the programme will help regenerate town centres by redeveloping derelict or under-used land and buildings. The £10m funding for Taff Vale, which is being developed on the site of a former 1960s shopping centre, includes £7m European funding.
The plans include construction of three distinctive buildings in a mixed-use development. Building A (nearest Gas Road Car Park) and Building B (the centre of the three buildings) will incorporate office floorspace, while Building C (nearest Bridge Street) will be a gateway building to Pontypridd, and will include a 21st Century library, a Council customer contact point, a cafe, community facilities and a new leisure and fitness centre. A footbridge from Gas Road Car Park to Ynysangharad War Memorial Park will also be built, subject to planning.
Thursday’s announcement follows an exciting start to 2018 for the scheme. The Council, which became outright owner of Taff Vale in April 2015, will revitalise the strategic site following several failed private sector projects.
Works began on site on January 8, 2018, building upon significant progress in 2017 which included site demolition, the appointment of contractor Willmott Dixon to support project delivery, gaining full planning permission and securing South Wales Metro operator Transport for Wales as a tenant.
Upcoming landmarks for the project include:
- Taff Street pavement diversions – March 2018.
- Piling works on site to commence – Spring 2018.
- Cranes to be erected on site – Spring 2018.
- Footbridge site investigations and detailed design – Spring 2018.
- Footbridge planning submission – Summer 2018.
- Site preparation for bridge (subject to planning consent) – Winter 2018.
- Footbridge construction (subject to planning consent) – Summer 2019.
- Buildings A, B and C completed – Winter 2020.
Councillor Robert Bevan Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “This significant investment is another huge boost for the Taff Vale project, and shows unequivocally that the Council is delivering upon its pledge, made in 2015 with the acquisition of the site, to redevelop this strategic landmark in Pontypridd.
“This £10m financial support is welcomed by the Council, and shows the Welsh Government’s support for the Council’s vision for Taff Vale. It was a pleasure to welcome Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans to Pontypridd on Thursday, and show her the continued progress on site.
“The scheme will bring a significant number of jobs to Pontypridd and boost footfall in the town centre, therefore contributing significantly to the town’s retail and commercial offer. The development is regionally-important, and will seek to take advantage of opportunities created by the South Wales Metro and the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal.
“Every time you travel past Taff Vale, the gateway to Pontypridd, you can see the site being gradually transformed. This will be even more exciting for residents and visitors as the project progresses and the three buildings take shape. By getting works underway in 2018 the Council sent a clear statement – that this important site is finally being developed after years in the making.
“The most immediate steps in the project, in Spring 2018, include the start of piling works and cranes being erected on site, as well as site investigations to inform a detailed design and planning submission for the new footbridge.
“Not only is it an exciting time for Pontypridd and the Taff Vale redevelopment, the Council also has further ambitious plans for Pontypridd Town and the wider Pontypridd and Treforest Strategic Opportunity Areas. These include future housing, transport and infrastructure projects, identified to unlock huge potential for economic growth and job creation that would occur from significant inward investment in the area.”
Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans said: “The Taff Vale project demonstrates how we are meeting our Valleys Taskforce ambitions to create jobs, boost the construction industry and revitalise town centres.
“Transport for Wales, the next rail franchise and South Wales Metro operator, will be based in the development. It will transform the centre of Pontypridd and is currently the largest single development project in the town. It’s exciting to see these fantastic buildings start to take shape.
“Through Building for the Future we are supporting local authorities and private and third sector partners to acquire, refurbish or redevelop unused buildings and land close to town and city centres. They will identify how these buildings could be used, including for commercial, public sector and residential purposes.
“We will work with local authorities and building users to target and offer employment and training opportunities to people seeking work.
“Building for the Future will re-energise our town centres and create some bright opportunities for people and businesses up and down the country. It’s great to see this work is already underway in Pontypridd.”
Neal Stephens, Managing Director of contractor Willmott Dixon
, added: “We understand the importance of this development in the heart of the town, and are committed to maximising local employment and training opportunities for the community. We are making good headway as the site is prepared for the start of construction, and we look forward to making this exciting design a reality for Pontypridd.”
Posted on Friday 9th March 2018