The British

View of the British with a jigsaw piece over layed

What and where is The British?

The British is the largest remaining site of industrial dereliction in South East Wales, with Torfaen County Borough Council purchasing 1,300 acres of the site in late 2016. The site is situated in Talywain and it is now a major regeneration project.

Phase 1 Works: First piece of the jigsaw

This phase is essential to improve the safety of the site and is the first piece in The British Masterplan jigsaw. The Masterplan for the site was developed in partnership with the community and stakeholders – it was approved by Torfaen Councillors in November 2018.

Phase 1 focuses on the area of the site known as ‘The Black Patch’ and the ‘Former Iron Works’, addressing the highly challenging and historic health and safety hazards. This involves investigation and treatment of shafts and adits, in addition to the creation of a new watercourse.  

The watercourse will reduce the risk of surface flooding in the area and aid biodiversity on the site. A new pond will be created and this will be connected to a new above ground watercourse that will reduce the use of the deteriorating underground culverts.

This first phase has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. 

Current progress and works

Earlier in 2022, work began with an investigation of the shafts and adits that exist along the proposed new above ground watercourse. This work included two key Land and Drainage surveys which captured and analysed important site data.

This data has helped inform the next stage of extensive investigatory work taking place during the Autumn of 2022 which will contribute to the detailed design for the proposed mine entry remediation and above ground (new pond & watercourse) drainage scheme. As part of this work, subsurface (below ground earth material) land data will be captured via a number of mechanical equipment and techniques.

In order for this work to start, the vegetation clearance required has now been completed. The contractor, Quantum Geotechnical, has also installed the site compound area, including a number of cabins, off Farm Road. The principle mechanical drilling rigs and works began during week commencing 24th October. The geophysical survey works are due to start very shortly. These works are programmed to run for 13 weeks (weekdays during daylight hours).

Information from these crucial investigations will be used to locate mine entry points, assess physical characteristics of the soils and rocks that make up the land and provide ground parameters/strategy for the proposed drainage scheme.

Two 'drop in' information sessions were held on 18th & 19th October 2022. These provided residents and members of the local community with the opportunity to find out more about the current works taking place.

Working in partnership with Gwent Wildlife Trust

In addition to these essential Phase 1 works, Torfaen Council is working in partnership with Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT).

Since the launch in April 2022 of our partnership with GWT, an exciting and diverse programme of free wildlife focused events and activities, including volunteering opportunities have enabled the local community to get involved and learn more about The British.

Find out more about GWT events and activities at The British at Gwent Wildlife Trust.

Where can I get more information ?

Join the project’s mailing list to receive updates and volunteer here. 

Contact the project team on 01633 648083.

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Last Modified: 03/11/2022
For more information contact:

The British Project Team

Tel: 01633 648083

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