£10m fund to rejuvenate Port Talbot’s former docklands
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
A new fund has been launched to encourage the rejuvenation of Port Talbot’s former docklands.
The £10 million Port Talbot Waterfront Development Fund is aimed at the research, development and innovation sectors in a bid to redevelop the area with industrial and commercial buildings.
With contributions from the Welsh Government and the UK Government, the fund aims to bridge the financial gap between the high construction costs of the buildings and the completed end market value of the properties.
It will also be used for building refurbishments on the three eligible sites – Harbourside, Baglan Energy Park and Baglan Industrial Estate.
Neath Port Talbot Council’s Director of Environment and Regeneration, Nicola Pearce, said: “This project will contribute to the continued development of the Port Talbot Waterfront, strengthening its viability as a destination to live and work, as well as meeting existing demand for industrial and commercial accommodation.
“It also ties in with the council’s Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy strategy as the fund is aimed at the research, development and innovation sectors which will help our goal of reducing carbon emissions.”
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council secured £4.5 Swansea Bay City Deal funding for the project.
The lucrative pot of money, aimed at emerging local businesses, will fund three schemes of around 2,000 square meters that could accommodate 400 jobs over five years. About 120 new jobs are expected to be created.
The £4.5m for delivering the project will be matched by a minimum private sector investment of £5.5m.
Port Talbot’s docklands has a long history stretching back to the 1830s when it was used to ship copper, coal and iron.
Although its importance has dwindled since then, the hope is that the area can thrive once again as a centre for work and commerce.
No fixed date has been given for the opening of applications for the development grant. However, a Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council spokesperson said that the application date is “to be announced soon.”
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