In 2008 the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) designated the Western Valleys as a Regeneration Area (WVRA) as a means of achieving sustainable regeneration across five local authority areas. The Amman & Gwendraeth valleys are included within the programme boundaries along with areas of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend and Powys.
Funding has been targeted towards Strategic projects under a number of key themes across the WVRA area along with an allocation for community based regeneration projects. The Amman & Gwendraeth Valleys Forum has been established with a variety of representatives from different sectors invited to attend. The Council prepared a Valleys Area Regeneration Plan (VARP) for each Valley which includes statistical evidence highlighting areas of need and deprivation. Forum members were asked to approve the VARP and an invite was sent out to Community Groups asking for projects that would address these issues to form the basis of an action plan. The WAG WVRA Project Team considers the project proposals and prioritise funding accordingly.
The Amman & Gwendraeth VARP will be a working document and the team within the Council will offer advice, guidance and assistance to community groups to develop and deliver the projects listed in the Action Plans.
To date £2.3 million of funding has been secured across the county. The approved projects address a range of issues which affect the whole of the Amman & Gwendraeth Valleys. Some of the current projects include:
Kidwelly Quay and the surrounding 21 acres of land are jointly owned by Carmarthenshire County Council and Kidwelly Town Council. The area includes a mix of industrial heritage, environmental opportunities and sense of place. The bracing outdoors and rich wildlife situated in the quay area, together with the neighbouring historic town will offer a compelling package to the visitor. This “hidden gem” is in need of reinvigoration to add to the other attractions in Kidwelly.
Enhancements to the area will include car parking, improved access, landscaping, picnic areas and shelter structures.
The former Palais site in Garnant has suffered from lack of investment over the years and as a result of this the site is in a poor state of repair. The former dance hall exhibits dilapidation and is a major eyesore which gives a poor impression of the surrounding area.
Carmarthenshire County Council purchased the site with assistance from the Western Valleys Regeneration Area with a view to demolishing the existing building and creating a low key amenity and environmental enhancement for the use of the general public.
Sam Palmer on 01267 590277 or email SEPalmer@carmarthenshire.gov.uk for further details.