Posted on: Thursday 19 January 2023
Pontypool is one of only 11 projects in Wales to receive grants from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund which aims to create jobs and grow the local economy.
The £7.6 million grant will help fund the council’s £9.3 million Pontypool Cultural Hub project, part of which will transform derelict buildings into a thriving cultural centre with a new restaurant to boost the night-time economy and attractiveness of the town.
The investment will:
- transform St James’ Church, a derelict Grade II listed building into a thriving cultural-hub with a pop-up cinema, pop-up food and exhibition space, a bar-servery with indoor and outdoor seating and space for community events
- convert public toilets into a landmark café/restaurant providing a high-quality lunchtime café offer, transforming into a “small plates” style restaurant in the evening
- renovate an existing car park into safe and secure parking for users of these facilities and the town.
Executive Member for Economy, Skills & Regeneration, said: “The cultural hub is the cornerstone of our Pontypool Placemaking plans. The new attractions will provide the link between the high street and some of the most popular attractions in the town, so the thousands of people using the park, canal, river or museum will be drawn into the town centre. We have some wonderful assets in the town and all these projects will deliver a reason to visit Pontypool of an evening.”
The Leader of Torfaen Council, Cllr Anthony Hunt, said: “I’m delighted our Pontypool bid was successful. This project is about building a positive future for the town and also part our wider plans that are bringing jobs and investment; bringing landmark properties back in to use; and bringing people back to the town. We already have a fantastic park and the world’s greatest rugby club – this project seeks to build on those strengths and secure a brighter future for the town centre.”
Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies, said: “This is a hugely significant investment in truly significant projects across Wales. I’m delighted to see so many successful bids from around the country for schemes which will have an impact for generations to come.”
A total of 11 projects in Wales have been allocated more than £208 million from the Levelling Up Fund. The projects will create jobs, drive economic growth, help restore people’s pride in the places where they live and spread opportunity more equally.
The UK Government will also today launch an interactive map online so people can see which projects in their area are receiving Levelling Up Fund investment. This will be available at levellingup.campaign.gov.uk
The Cultural Hub project is expected to be completed by March 2025.