Celebrating Success Of Our Towns
Written by Gavin on 15th March 2023
Mountain Ash and Pontypridd town centres has been crowned winners at the prestigious national ‘Let’s Celebrate Towns’ Awards, held in London, ranking them among the top eight towns in the UK.
The awards, sponsored by Visa, in partnership with the British Retail Consortium, saw TWO Rhondda Cynon Taf towns achieving nationwide credit and recognition. Mountain Ash received the Rising Star Wales Award and Pontypridd won the Wales Champion Town Award.
Councillor Mark Norris, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Cabinet Member for Prosperity and Development, said:
“I am delighted that two of our local towns have been announced as among the best in Britain at the UK-wide Let’s Celebrate Towns Awards, allowing us to showcase the region to the wider community on a nationwide platform.
“Both town centres have been the focal point of their communities for centuries, Pontypridd being a historic town, home of both our National Anthem and National Lido in Ynysangharad War Memorial Park and Mountain Ash, host of the National Eisteddfod in 1905 and 1946 and home to the world-famous Nos Galan Road Races.”
Let’s Celebrate Towns Awards https://www.visa.co.uk/campaign/talk-of-the-town/
The ‘Let’s Celebrate Towns’ Awards are designed to celebrate the hundreds of towns across the country which help local businesses and communities to thrive
From Mountain Ash and Pontypridd, to Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland and Drumnadrochit in Scotland and Wythenshawe in England, towns across the UK highlighted a range of exciting initiatives, including business and council partnerships to drive investment, and local mentoring to support local businesses, as part of the application process.
But it was Mountain Ash and Pontypridd crowned the UK’s finest towns!
The individual case studies for each town not only showcased what makes the towns unique, but also demonstrated how they are adapting to new challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing environment, as well as actively encouraging the adoption of best practice across the country.
Regeneration and investment in Mountain Ash in recent years includes the opening of the Cross Valley Link, town centre car park improvements, including increased parking capacity within the wider Mountain Ash Town Centre Regeneration Framework and the redevelopment of ‘Guto’ square, named after the runner at the heart of the Nos Galan Road Races.
As well as the introduction of Electric Vehicle Charging points, additional short-stay and disabled parking spaces have also been created. Wider improvements have also included landscaping and retaining wall works and a new paved entranceway to the town’s Workingmen’s Club and canopy area.
Recent regeneration and investment in Pontypridd include the delivery of the three Llys Cadwyn buildings, the recent Cwrt yr Orsaf Extra Care facility along with the progression of the modernised Pontypridd YMCA and Muni Theatre projects, along with investment at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.
Also, the redevelopment of key areas including the former Bingo Hall and M&S/Dorothy Perkins stores, improving connectivity between the railway station and the high street, opening up the public realm, refurbished properties in the town centre providing workspaces, homes, retail and leisure uses, while a new riverside walkway is planned along with better pedestrian connections and spaces throughout the town.
Tony Danker, Director General of the Confederation of Business Industry, also a member of the judging panel, said:
“I am delighted to be part of the Let’s Celebrate Towns initiative. Faced with a challenging set of circumstances across the country, a relentless focus on growth and unlocking prosperity, especially across towns, can ensure that every region, every nation, and every corner of the UK can flourish.”
Mountain Ash will receive £10,000 of investment in a local community initiative and a programme of support for local businesses. Pontypridd will receive £20,000 of investment in a local community initiative and a programme of support for local businesses.
A panel of independent judges from business, industry and regional bodies selected the eight overall winners at a special awards ceremony held in London.