New sea defences which are protecting more than 260 Porthcawl properties and businesses from flooding and coastal erosion have been officially opened by Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs and the Council Leader, Cllr Huw David.

The £3m defences have been constructed at Porthcawl’s town beach. With an eye-catching new design, the defences feature 185 large terraces which divert the force of each incoming wave to either side instead of allowing the tide to hit the seafront area head-on.

As part of the work, a flat, sand-coloured surface with improved access and drainage has been installed, and the lower promenade sea wall has been strengthened.

Previously known locally as ‘the tarmac beach’, the former defences were installed in 1984 to prevent repeated incidents of flooding which could reach as far as John Street during especially high tides.

One of the historic buildings that are under the protection of the new defences is the Grand Pavilion, which opened in 1932.

Welsh Government has contributed £2.3m towards the overall cost of the project, with Bridgend County Borough Council making up the remaining £700,000.

Cllr Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:

“This has been an extremely difficult project to deliver, but the results speak for themselves and the new design for the town beach looks fantastic.

“Despite being an extremely challenging feat of coastal engineering undertaken amid unpredictable weather patterns and changing maritime conditions, it has been more than worth the effort.

“With the new sea defences, Porthcawl has gained another iconic landmark development, one that will continue to provide the town with effective protection from flooding and coastal erosion for many years to come.”