A £30m housing led regeneration programme has provided significant improvements to Port Talbot town centre whilst proving to be a great success in creating benefits for local communities.
Neath Port Talbot Council, working with key partners, is undertaking a number of Regeneration projects in the town centre after securing £10.4m funding from the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places programme.
The programme demonstrates the commitment of Neath Port Talbot Council to build a better future and transform the living and working environment of the town. The overall aim is to regenerate the town centre, provide new homes and improve existing homes as well as providing space for new businesses.
One of the key outcomes of Port Talbot’s Vibrant and Viable Places is to provide new training and employment opportunities for the local community.
To date the programme has created employment opportunities for local people, safeguarded at least 40 jobs and created more than 20 apprenticeship opportunities.
Working with contractors, the scheme has also provided a range of training schemes for a number of employees.
Port Talbot based Contract Services are working on the Neighbourhood Renewal Scheme, one of the eleven VVP projects in the town already underway.
Curtis Mitchell joined Contract Services in October via Jobs Growth Wales as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor, working in the office 4 days a week and attending college on the fifth day.
He has gained experience, skills and knowledge that will support him with his career as a result of his involvement of this project and he has become a key member of the team.
“This opportunity and getting involved with one of the VVP projects has allowed me to gain significant experience and insight that few other projects would be able to offer.”
The three-year programme will bring about a genuine transformation of the town and support the strategic priorities of the Swansea Bay City Region.
It also links with the development of Port Talbot Harbourside where there is the potential for creating hundreds of high quality jobs.
Overall the programme will deliver 132 new affordable homes, improve 354 run-down homes, provide 84temporary construction jobs and 2000 square metres of business space while assisting 20 new business start-ups.
Apprentices who have so far benefitted from the programme include Thomas Ramsey and Joseff Williams both employed by another local company CJ Construction, currently working on the redevelopment of the old Aberavon Fire Station into a new Employability Centre.
Carpentry apprentice Thomas said he had already made progress and his aim was to become a skilled tradesperson, while Joseff, currently taking a diploma course in construction and civil engineering said:
“This is a great opportunity for me to progress and gain experience.”
Director of Environment, Gareth Nutt said:
“This programme is of great importance to Port Talbot.
“It will bring significant benefits for everyone as well as improving the overall environment of the town.
“We have already seen major improvements and there are more to follow. We are grateful for the support we have received from the Welsh Government.”
Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, said:
“Through our Vibrant and Viable Places programme we are regenerating areas across Wales, boosting the economy and creating valuable job and training opportunities.
“I am delighted the VVP programme in Port Talbot is providing real benefits to the community, offering local people the chance to learn new skills and progress in their careers.”