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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 18:57 GMT
80m town centre developer chosen
Artist's impression of what the redeveloped Neath town centre will look like
An artist's impression of Neath's redeveloped town centre
A construction company has been chosen to carry out an 80m redevelopment of Neath town centre.

Neath Port Talbot Council said Simons Developments has a proven track record in town centre development, including market towns.

Shops, restaurants, bars, and a heritage centre are being planned for the old civic centre site.

Members of the public will be given the chance to submit their views on the proposals at a later date.

Simons Developments was one of three firms short-listed for the contract in June.

The centre piece of the development will be what the council calls a state-of-the-art civic space which could house a museum and public library.

The old civic centre in Neath
The former civic centre is set to be demolished

A car park with room for more than 800 vehicles will have a guidance system to help shoppers find free space.

Neath's Tesco and Wilkinson stores will be relocated into the new development. The Boots store will be remodelled and a cafe quarter centre is planned nearby.

Derek Vaughan, Neath Port Talbot Council leader, said: "The proposals are very exciting and I would ask residents, traders, shoppers and visitors to look at them and let us have their views.

"Neath town centre is an attractive, historic market town and this development will make it better than ever."

Public opinion

The council said residents will see the first signs of the development early in the new year when the old civic centre buildings are demolished.

Developers will also begin a public consultation and residents and traders will be able to give their opinion on the proposals.

The council said the main principles of the project were quality architecture and ensuring the development is linked to the town centre.

The public consultation will be followed by a series of announcements, including the names of High Street retailers who will join the development.

Building work is expected to start in between 18 and 23 months.

Chairman and chief executive of the Simons Group, Paul Hodgkinson, said they were delighted to have been selected "for this hugely important regeneration project".

"This places a significant responsibility with us and we are looking forward to the challenge and to providing the people of Neath with an exciting shopping, living and leisure quarter to be proud of," he added.



SEE ALSO
Fire-hit hall demolition starts
28 Oct 07 |  South West Wales
Shortlist for town's 40m revamp
15 Jun 07 |  South West Wales
40m town centre revamp planned
05 Jan 07 |  South West Wales

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