Funding approved to renovate town centre eyesore
Lewis Smith, local democracy reporter
A town centre eyesore could be brought back to life over the next few years, thanks to a major investment approved by the local council.
The former Royal British Legion Club House on Eastland Road, which is described as a landmark building at a prominent gateway to Neath town centre, has been left in a state of disrepair in recent years.
However, it will now be handed a sum of £82,500 from Neath Port Talbot’s Council’s commercial property grant, designed to target projects at specific commercial centres, communities first areas and neighbourhood renewal areas.
The cash will go towards improvement works to the outside of building, which will help it in “enhancing the vibrancy and vitality of this southern gateway to Neath town centre,” as well as creating opportunities for new business.
The external work to the building will include replacing the grey aluminium windows and doors, improving the landscaping around the building, as well as adding a real wood effect cladding over the existing wall cladding.
It is part of an overall scheme that will see both the outside and the inside of the building refurbished, with the space intended to be let out to a small business once the work is complete.
The report read: “The building is mostly derelict and a significant eyesore that is detrimental to the character of Neath, offering a poor impression of the town centre to visitors entering from the south end of Eastland Road.
“The overall scheme involves the refurbishment of the entire building to provide bars with pool tables, part of the space potentially being let to small local businesses. It will provide an additional establishment for assembly and leisure and will so attract footfall, enhancing the vibrancy and vitality of this southern gateway to Neath town centre.
“The work will improve the quality of the built environment to attract further economic investment to the area. It will bring a large mostly empty building back into full use, increasing the local supply of commercial floorspace and creating opportunity for new business/employment.”
The approval of funding was granted by council members on 12 January, after a meeting of the authority’s environment, regeneration and street scene services cabinet board.
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