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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 March 2008, 09:38 GMT
Regeneration for town is unveiled
The development site next to the River Neath
The development area stretches from the river to the town centre
Plans have been unveiled to redevelop 1,000 acres of industrial land between Neath town centre and the River Neath.

Derek Vaughan, leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, said business, leisure and residential developments would regenerate the area.

He insisted it would compliment an 80m retail complex at the old civic centre.

He said: "These regeneration schemes will bring huge benefits to the people of Neath and secure the future of Neath town centre for years to come."

Talking about the riverfront scheme, Cllr Vaughan said: "A study of the area has already been carried out to look at ways of regenerating the site.

"[Existing] business were contacted and were positive about the idea."

Council leader Derek Vaughan
These are exciting times for the future of Neath, for the council, for businesses, for traders, residents and visitors
Cllr Derek Vaughan

The council leader said he believed the Neath Canal, which runs through the middle of the site, could provide a focus for the redevelopment.

"No fixed decisions have been made, only some initial ideas which will be put forward for public consultation in May or June," he added.

In the meantime, work on the 80m retail complex being overseen by developer Simons gets underway next month.

Cllr Vaughan stressed that 220,000 sq ft of new retail space would be created, along with a new "state-of-the-art" heritage centre, library, multi-storey car park and cafe quarter.

He also pledged:

  • Neath Port Talbot Council would make an announcement on the future of the Gwyn Hall, which was badly damaged by fire last year, within the next few weeks.
  • Talks were well advanced with Network Rail over the refurbishment of the town's bus and railway station.
  • The council was expecting to hear "very soon" whether it had been successful in its bid for 2m Heritage Lottery Funding to restore Victoria Gardens.
  • A 500,000 improved scheme was planned for Queens Street and a further 630,000 was being spent to enhance the St Thomas' Church Yard.

Artist's impression of what the redeveloped Neath town centre will look like
An artist's impression of Neath's redeveloped town centre

"These are exciting times for the future of Neath, for the council, for businesses, for traders, residents and visitors," added Cllr Vaughan.

"There plans bring in a total investment of 100m for Neath town centre and the surrounding area.

"We are concentrating our efforts on regenerating the whole of the town centre rather than look to out of town shopping developments as other areas have done."



SEE ALSO
80m town centre developer chosen
07 Nov 07 |  South West Wales
Fire-hit hall demolition starts
28 Oct 07 |  South West Wales
40m town centre revamp planned
05 Jan 07 |  South West Wales

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