Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet has endorsed a package of projects which will be put forward for funding bids under the second round of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
The £4.8 billion fund seeks to invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, supporting town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.
Under the rules, local authorities can only receive funding for one bid for every parliamentary constituency that lies wholly within their boundary of up to £20m. However, they can also make one additional bid for potential strategic projects in their area of up to £50m. All projects have to be match funded by the local authority or another external grant body, such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund, by at least 10 per cent.
As a result, Bridgend County Borough Council is planning to bid for three projects. They are:
Bridgend Constituency: Porthcawl Grand Pavilion Redevelopment
Plans for the redevelopment of Porthcawl Grand Pavilion aim to enhance the Grade II listed building and add a range of new facilities, including function rooms, a rooftop function and café space offering elevated sea views, a studio theatre, office facilities, business incubation or workshop spaces and improved toilet facilities, including a new changing places facility.
The plans, developed in partnership with Awen Cultural Trust, have been in the pipeline since 2016 with feasibility studies undertaken.
Ogmore Constituency: Bridgend Enterprise Development Project
This project aims to provide support to a range of economic sectors in the Llynfi, Garw and Ogmore Valleys by providing premises for start-ups and new businesses, support in the early years of trading and help with accessing new markets and supply chains.
It aims to meet the high demand currently in place for small/micro enterprise space and increase employment.
Bridgend Strategic Proposal: Penprysg Railway Bridge
This project will result in the rebuilding of the Penprysg road bridge so that it can accommodate two-way traffic leading to the eventual closure of Pencoed’s level railway crossing, and an all-new active travel bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.
It is being developed in conjunction with Network Rail and through a working group comprising local politicians, Transport for Wales and the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales.
A long-standing infrastructure project for Bridgend, a public consultation is currently underway on the proposal.
The Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Stuart Baldwin said: “This is an exciting package of projects which would make a real difference to the county borough as a whole, as well as to the towns and valleys in which they’re located.
“With the rules only permitting one approval per constituency over the life of the funding programme, we want to ensure comprehensive applications are made on key projects that can be delivered within the set timeframe.
“We have met with the MP for Ogmore and Bridgend, and both MPs were very supportive with the projects being proposed.
“Over the next few months, we will be working alongside relevant partner organisations to develop the projects as necessary in order to submit when the next round of funding opens.”