Forest rollercoaster plan part of Caerphilly levelling up – and down – and loop the loop – bid
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
A plan for the longest alpine rollercoaster in the nations of the UK is among the projects put forward by Caerphilly County Borough Council as it bids for funding from the UK Government’s levelling-up fund.
If the bids are successful, three regeneration projects totalling £80.6 million will be undertaken by the council.
Council leader Sean Morgan said the bids would provide “huge benefits” to the county borough – such as “improved health and well-being, better public transport connectivity and enhanced visitor attractions that will help boost the local economy”.
Proposals to replace Caerphilly Leisure Centre with a new leisure centre near Caerphilly Business Park, which is estimated to cost nearly £34 million, is part of the proposals.
Possibly the most surprising bid is for a £12m ‘Alpine Coaster’ – which would be built at Cwmcarn Forest and would be the longest alpine rollecoaster in the UK.
The final bid is for £35 million to redevelop Caerphilly railway station and bus interchange and create a “transport hub”. This proposal is included in the council’s short-term Caerphilly 2035 plan.
The council’s deputy leader, Cllr Jamie Pritchard, said the bids are ambitious but “fully thought through”. He added: “We hope the UK Government shares our vision for the county borough.”
Cllr Morgan, who represents the Nelson ward, said: “These exciting proposals demonstrate our vision and ambition to deliver major projects that will regenerate our communities and result in positive change for local residents.”
If the bids are successful, they would need to be delivered by March 2025, in line with the UK Government’s expectations.
Local authorities have until July 6 to submit the bids. The council can submit one bid for each parliamentary constituency – Caerphilly and Islwyn – and one further transport bid.
Cllr Pritchard, who represents the Morgan Jones ward, said: “We have to move as fast as we can to drive the county borough forward. The new cabinet has been working around the clock on these proposals to ensure we meet the tight deadline for submissions.
“These projects are big news for the county borough and if cabinet agrees the bids, they will then be submitted to the UK Government.”
The bids are expected to be approved at the Cabinet meeting on June 29.
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