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Council eyeing deal for major redevelopment of city park

28 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Tredegar Park. Photo via Google

Nicholas Thomas, local democracy reporter

A new cafe, sports facilities, and water play area could all be built in a city park, if the local authority is able to agree a deal to purchase the land.

The freehold for Tredegar Park in Newport is currently leased but, but the council has now unveiled a proposal to purchase the land from its owner using UK Government “levelling-up” funds.

If it goes ahead, the half a million pound deal will mean the council no longer be bound by the conditions of the lease with the landowner, and could also mean major investment in the park’s facilities.

Community interest 

Buying the park will give the council “greater autonomy” in redeveloping services there, and the council believes there is a “strong community interest” in investing in Tredegar Park.

According to a draft report, the city council has proposed a fee of £517,000 to buy the freehold of the land.

It is currently spending a nominal amount, £225 annually, to rent the parkland as part of a 99-year leasing arrangement with Eagle Star Insurance Company Ltd, signed in 1963.

But while this annual figure is low, the council said the way the park is used for recreation purposes had “changed significantly” over the decades, and “most of today’s common recreational uses are not permitted under the terms of the lease”.

Attempts to change those terms “to permit modern uses” have been unsuccessful.

The proposed price of £517,000 is equivalent to the city council continuing to pay the landowner the current £225 annual fee for the next 2,297 years.

But this will free the council of “a number of restrictive conditions” attached to the lease, it argues.

Funding for the proposed deal will come from the UK Government by way of its Shared Prosperity Fund, one of the “levelling-up” initiatives set up after Brexit to replace European Union funding schemes.

This UK Government money has already been allocated to Newport for investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

If the deal goes ahead, Newport City Council has begun to lay out plans to develop the existing facilities at Tredegar Park, and add some new ones.

The council has proposed an “improved” play area with “additional features and inclusive play equipment”, as well as a redesign of the car park and events space.

Sports facilities

There could be improvements to sports facilities and the development of an all-weather MUGA (multi-use games area).

A sensory garden could be opened, and the park “reconfigured” to “deliver better spaces for all park users”.

A splash pad-type, inclusive “water play area” has also been proposed, as well as “new, fully inclusive cafe facilities”.

The council’s cabinet member for infrastructure and assets is expected to back the proposed purchase in early February. The offer will then require cabinet approval.


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Kathleen
Kathleen
1 month ago

Will there be any green bits of the park left by the time it’s finished? Does it not bother anyone else that the only way modern people can enjoy parkland of any kind is if their is a load of nonsensical crud there? What even is “an all-weather MUGA (multi-use games area).” I thought that was called “indoors at your house, where you live”. ” A sensory garden could be opened, and the park “reconfigured” to “deliver better spaces for all park users”.” This almost sounds good but “could” is doing a lot of heavy lifting, I COULD jump up… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Kathleen
Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago

I’m all for nice facilities in a City. However, I fail to see how Newport will be levelled up with this project. Perhaps investment in transport or education would be a better bet?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Watch out trees, your biggest enemy is the council, it will turn up in the middle of the night and chop you down wherever you are…

You must make a pact with the creatures of the forest to resist them…

Their base acquisitiveness threatens you all…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Call BAT-MAN…and Robin Goch…

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