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Progress update on regeneration projects in Pontypridd Town Centre

Written by on 19th November 2021

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Members have received an update on the development and ongoing delivery of important regeneration projects within Pontypridd Town Centre.

A report to Cabinet on November 15 outlined the progress made in the current regeneration framework (‘Pivotal Pontypridd – Delivering Growth’) – which started in September 2017, when the Council identified Pontypridd as one of five Strategic Opportunity Areas. The current framework runs to 2022, and Monday’s report updated Members on work to develop a placemaking plan to build upon what has been achieved, providing a new framework for future developments.

‘Pivotal Pontypridd’ aimed to build upon the investment in preceding years, including the £12m Pontypridd Town Centre Regeneration Programme (2013), the £6.3m Lido Ponty development (2015), £14m Pontypridd Railway Station project (2015) and the Townscape Enhancement Programme (2017).

Over the past four years, numerous further projects have been developed, commenced and delivered – representing a total investment of £115m for the town. Monday’s Cabinet report provided the latest updates for each:

  • Llys Cadwyn – completed in October 2020 thanks to Council, Welsh Government and EU funding, the mixed use development is now home to Transport for Wales, Bradleys Coffee, Gatto Lounge, a new library, fitness centre and customer contact point for Council services.
  • Ynysangharad Park Bridge – in August 2020, the structure provided a new link from Llys Cadwyn to the park thanks to Welsh Government funding, significantly improving connectivity around the town centre.
  • Ynysangharad War Memorial Park – Valleys Regional Park funding in 2021 has refurbished all main footways, upgraded LED streetlighting and delivered a changing place facility at Lido Ponty. Further Welsh Government and Heritage Lottery Funding will restore the sunken garden and bandstand area, and deliver a training centre, in 2023.
  • Pontypridd YMCA – funding by the Council, Welsh Government and the Arts Council for Wales will create a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility through a redevelopment of the existing building. It will open in late 2021 with new offices, workspaces and dedicated arts facilities.
  • Muni Arts Centre – significant funding was secured from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund in October 2021, for a major refurbishment project with Awen Cultural Trust. It aims to re-establish the Muni as a unique local venue for regional arts and music while securing the Grade II Listed building’s stunning gothic architecture.
  • Former Bingo Hall and Angharad’s Nightclub buildings – using Council and Welsh Government funding, these derelict buildings were acquired in March 2020 and demolished by August 2021 for a future redevelopment. Discussions are ongoing with the commercial sector, and redevelopment options will be brought forward in early 2022.
  • Former M&S/Burtons and Dorothy Perkins buildings – the empty buildings were acquired in 2021 thanks to Welsh Government and Council investment. They provide an exciting development opportunity in the heart of the town. Options will be brought forward in early 2022.
  • Cwrt Yr Orsaf (Pontypridd Extra Care) – in partnership with Linc Cymru, construction of the building was completed and handed over to the Council in October 2021. It has provided 60 apartments for older people, with 24/7 on-site support available for their assessed needs. It includes dining/lounge areas, a hair salon, day care unit and gardens.

The report also outlines several other schemes which have been delivered. The Town Centre Property Improvement Programme has improved six properties since February 2020, a sustainable drainage scheme has been implemented at Mill Street to tackle surface water during heavy rain, and the Enterprise Investment Fund has helped 10 start-up businesses and SMEs.

The help received by businesses since the flooding in Storm Dennis (February 2020) and the start of the pandemic (March 2020) has also been noted. This was received via the Flood Resilience Grant, Restrictions Business Fund NDR and Discretionary Grants, and Welsh Government’s Covid Recovery Fund.

During Monday’s meeting, Cabinet Members agreed for further reports to be brought forward in the New Year, including detailed proposals for the Bingo Hall site, future options for the M&S/Burtons and Dorothy Perkins site, and setting out the details of the draft masterplan for the town. The updates will set out detailed arrangements for community engagement on these proposals.

Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “Monday’s Cabinet report brought together the vast list of schemes included within the current regeneration framework for Pontypridd. It highlights the huge £115m investment the Council has secured for the town over the past four years – and this follows previously-completed schemes like Lido Ponty, Pontypridd Railway Station upgrades and the Town Centre Regeneration Programme.

“These continue to be exciting times for Pontypridd, with key schemes being progressed. Llys Cadwyn has been delivered, while the YMCA redevelopment is on course for completion this year. The Muni Arts Centre recently secured £5.3m enabling its refurbishment project to progress, while Cwrt Yr Orsaf is welcoming new residents having been handed over to the Council last month.

“Two of our most recent projects to revitalise the Bingo Hall site and former M&S/Burtons and Dorothy Perkins buildings are also progressing. Cabinet has now agreed for further reports to be brought forward in the New Year, outlining redevelopment options for each. Members also look forward to agreeing a new regeneration framework which is being developed, providing a bold vision for the town to secure its prominent position at the heart of the Cardiff Capital Region.”