Caerphilly-coaster levelling up bid gets council approval
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
A bid to build a forest roller-coaster is among those to get Caerphilly Council’s seal of approval for submission for levelling up cash.
Three regeneration projects mooted by the county could see funding of over £80 million if the levelling-up bids are successful.
As well as the ‘Alpine Coaster’, a leisure centre and a “transport hub” are included in the funding proposals, which have now been approved by the council’s cabinet.
The proposals, backed by senior councillors on June 29, will now be submitted to the UK Government before July 6.
It is estimated the bids will cost £200,000 to prepare.
The council had the opportunity to submit one bid for each parliamentary constituency – Caerphilly and Islwyn – and one further transport bid.
The first bid proposes that Caerphilly Leisure Centre be replaced with a new leisure centre near Caerphilly Business Park – this is estimated to cost nearly £34 million.
At the meeting, Rhian Kyte, Head of Regeneration and Planning, said the chosen location was at the centre of the plans for the leisure centre.
Ms Kyte added that the leisure centre would be close to Lansbury Park and close to the train station – making it easier for those in the Rhymney valley to reach.
The second bid is for improvements to Cwmcarn Forest which could soon be home to the longest alpine rollercoaster in the UK, costing the council £12 million.
Additionally, Deputy leader Jamie Pritchard said there are plans for accommodation and an updated visitors centre at Cwmcarn Forest.
The final bid is for the redevelopment of Caerphilly railway station and bus interchange to create a “transport hub”. This proposal is included in the council’s short-term Caerphilly 2035 plan and is estimated to cost £35 million.
In addition to the money from the UK Government, the council would put £14.8 million of its own money towards the projects. This would be funded from the council’s Wellbeing and Place Shaping Framework earmarked reserve and the council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) fund.
If the bids are successful, they would need to be delivered by March 2025, in line with the UK Government’s expectations.
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