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Last Updated: Friday, 20 July 2007, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
300m steelworks scheme go-ahead
Ariel view of the former steelworks site at Ebbw Vale

A 300m scheme to redevelop the site where Ebbw Vale's steelworks once stood has been given final approval.

The Works plan includes 720 homes, a hospital, primary school, leisure centre and train station on the 185-acre site.

It is estimated it will take up to 10 years to complete with 2,000 people working on the development.

Major demolition work has been carried out on the site since the steelworks closed five years ago.

The reclamation of the site began in earnest in November 2005 as part of a 25m reclamation programme.

A plan for the site prepared by consultants for Blaenau Gwent Council and the Welsh Assembly Government was approved by planning officials on Friday.

The site will eventually provide:

  • Hundreds of new homes - some of which will go on the market in autumn
  • Office space
  • A learning campus
  • General hospital
  • 70 acres of parkland and wetland
  • Primary school
  • New railway station
  • Leisure centre and sports facilities
  • Theatre
  • Plans for a new environmental education centre are also being finalised to provide outdoor teaching areas and learning opportunities.

    Economy and Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "The speed with which the site is being brought to market is commendable and an outstanding example of public and private sector organisations working together to bring new life to Ebbw Vale and regenerate a community.

    "The Works has been designed to revitalise and regenerate this area of the Heads of the Valleys and will be a catalyst for change, creating social and environmental benefits as well as employment opportunities and new facilities for future generations.

    "It will be an exemplar project embracing sustainable development principles and best practice in environmental planning and implementation and will significantly improve the quality of life for the local communities and attract new investment."

    John Hopkins, chair of the steelworks project partnership and Leader of Blaenau Gwent Council, said: "The approval of the planning application for The Works opens the door to the development becoming a reality.

    "Investors and funding bodies will be able to look with confidence on the project, and we will be able to continue to drive forward the regeneration of Blaenau Gwent and the Heads of the Valleys region at the same urgent pace, and with the same far-reaching ambition that has characterised the work so far."




    SEE ALSO
    Steelworks basement space plans
    12 Dec 06 |  South East Wales
    Jobs hope over valleys rail link
    06 Jul 06 |  South East Wales
    Experts start on steel site plans
    03 Aug 06 |  South East Wales
    Steelworks facelift work begins
    24 Nov 05 |  South East Wales
    Steelworks relic blown up
    31 Mar 04 |  South East Wales

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