Council approves extra funds for The British

Posted on: Tuesday 22 June 2021
British black patch

Torfaen councillors have voted in favour of allocating an extra £1.26m to regenerate the site of an old ironworks. 

The additional money will allow essential engineering work to take place at the British, near Abersychan, to include making derelict mine works safe and reducing the risk of flooding by creating new watercourses and a pond.

The work will also enable Torfaen Council to start to identify other funding to take forward plans to redevelop the site in line with the master plan which was approved back in 2018.  This included things such as a heritage trail, a community food growing zone and landscape corridor.

Councillor Joanne Gauden, Executive Member for Economy, Skills and Regeneration, said: “This site could become Torfaen’s jewel in the crown but it does present financial and technical challenges.

“This first phase will ensure the site is safe and secure for local residents and is key to moving to the next phase, which will be to realise the masterplan that was approved three years ago.

“Our priority now is to work with the British Liaison Group and the wider community to move the project to the next stage.”

Plans for the multi-million-pound project were approved by Torfaen Council cabinet members in November 2018.

A report presented to councillors today outlined how the costs of the first phase have since increased, due to the need for extra health and safety measures to meet coronavirus restrictions, a lack of geotechnical experts because of the HS2 development and rising inflation. 

A report to last month’s cabinet meeting highlighted how investigations had identified 91 mine shafts and 70 adits at the site, 20 of which were in need of action.    

Rachel Jowitt, Chief Officer for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Public Protection, said: “The costs of the project have increased during the detailed design stage. The projected geotechnical costs have increased by 50 per cent and without councillors approving the additional capital funding, the whole project would have to stop.

“It means work can now begin at the site to make it safe and we can start to identify other funding to take forward plans to redevelop the site."  

To watch a recording of the council meeting click here

Last Modified: 22/06/2021 Back to top