Support our Nation today - please donate here

More than £8m worth of funding allocated to help revitalise town and city centres across Wales

19 Feb 2024 4 minute read
Blackwood. Photo via Google

Five local authorities are set to benefit from an £8m Welsh Government towns programme, Climate Change Minister Julie James confirmed today.

The Transforming Towns Loans (TTLs) programme supports local authorities with town and city centre regeneration projects and has allocated more than £73m since its launch in 2014 and has brought over 600 units back into use.

Caerphilly, Cardiff, Swansea, Gwynedd and Wrexham local authorities will benefit from the latest funding announcement and will use the funds to help revitalise town and city centres and give vacant buildings a new lease of life.

Revitalising centres

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, said: Our Transforming Towns Loans programme allows councils to support projects that revitalise town and city centres to help create a sense of place and vibrant high streets for their communities.

“With the ambition of making communities sustainable over the long term, the programme aims to improve the quality of life, job opportunities and economic growth for the people who live and work in and around those towns.

“I am looking forward to seeing how councils provide loans to support regeneration projects and bring life back to high streets and disused and forgotten buildings at the heart of their town centres.”

Caerphilly County Borough Council applied to this latest round requesting £1m to restore 12 mixed use premises in Caerphilly, Blackwood, and Bargoed town centres.

The loan is being used to help property owners access the finance they need to invest and grow during challenging times and will reduce the number of vacant, underutilised and redundant sites and premises to actively encourage diversification to sustain the towns as a place to live, work, visit and stay.

In the application made by Cardiff Council, they requested over £2.9m to fund three regeneration projects in its city and district centres.

One of the projects is the acquisition and redevelopment of Park House on Park Place, a vacant Grade I listed building of national importance.

Before the acquisition, the building had been vacant for over a year and through the Transforming Towns programme it will be refurbished into a 5* wedding and events venue.


Leader of the Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “This is an important scheme which allows us to help preserve and protect important buildings of historical interest in the city centre, bringing them back to life. Park House is a stunning building, designed by William Burges, so it’s great news to know that it will benefit from this fund.

“Since the pandemic ended inflation has risen significantly. This has resulted in development costs increasing significantly making the renovation of historic and listed buildings especially challenging.

“The council’s loans programme, supported by the Welsh Government, allows for these buildings to be repurposed, creating new jobs which benefits the local economy while preserving important buildings for the future.

“The programme has already resulted in the transformation of the Tramshed in Grangetown; Butetown Railway Station; 30-31 Windsor Place; Imperial Gate on lower St Mary Street; and helped with the works on Parador 44 Hotel in Quay Street. I am delighted to hear that the council has received just under £3m in the latest round of bids, some of which will be used to transform Park House by the Civic Centre, the Custom House on Bute Street, and to help with new plans for further improvements at Cardiff Bay Train Station.”

“Ambitious plans”

Chef Tom Simmons said: “We are excited to have the opportunity to restore this magnificent and unique historic Grade 1 listed building in the heart of Cardiff into a stunning venue. We are grateful to Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government for their support. Our ambitious plans will be announced later this year.”

Swansea Council have accessed the greatest proportion of TTLs to date and have requested £3m in loan funding, the largest amount in this round of applications, to support six projects for the city and wider communities.

The application made by Cyngor Gwynedd requested £700k to extend and enhance the current loan scheme operating in the local authority, building on their current success and supporting the Transforming Towns agenda.

Wrexham County Borough Council’s application requested £500k to extend the available loan funding for the City Centre to specifically repurpose and improve properties and reduce the amount of empty properties present.

Tackling empty properties is a central pillar of the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme, and this loan funding will be used alongside the main regeneration grant programme worth £100m (over three years), the £43m Property Loans programme, and a range of enforcement tools on offer to support local authorities across Wales.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.