Bridgend County Borough Council is launching public consultation over ambitious new plans which could change the face of Bridgend town centre.
Featuring proposals such as creating a new town square, moving Bridgend College into the heart of the town centre, transforming derelict and empty buildings into new shops and housing, improving vehicular access, relocating the police station, constructing an enhanced new railway station entrance, introducing new landscaping and much more, the Bridgend Town Centre Masterplan aims to deliver a series of major improvements over the next 10 years.
It has been designed by specialist consultants working on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council to create improved areas of open space within the town centre, and to strike a new balance between the benefits of pedestrianisation and requirements for improved access.
The plan aims to increase the number of people who shop, work, live, visit and enjoy the town centre by using a ‘zoned’ approach for cultivating retail opportunities, creating new commercial and office space, introducing new public realm works and providing better transport facilities.
Having already obtained views and feedback on the proposals from business owners and wider stakeholders, the council wants to know what local residents think about its plans.
Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “This masterplan marks some of the most ambitious developments that have ever been proposed for the town centre, and we want people to be able to have their say on how it takes shape.
“It provides a huge opportunity to adapt and makes changes which reflect modern trends for how town centres are increasingly being used, and to transform and restore Bridgend town as the beating heart of the community that has been built around it.
“As well as seeking to turn empty buildings into new housing and retail opportunities, it wants to reshape the very heart of the town by creating all-new facilities and features while improving essential traffic and travel links, and maximising the use of green space for people to enjoy.
“The plan also seeks to develop parts of the town centre that have so far not been used to their full potential, to improve links with defining characteristics such as the River Ogmore, and to provide places where people can walk or cycle.
“In addition, Bridgend is a town that is rich in history, and the new plan seeks to reflect this by establishing improved links with its cultural heritage.
“As we look beyond the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, I truly believe that the masterplan offers a unique way forward for securing the future of Bridgend town centre, and I hope that people will make sure that they have their say on its proposals when the consultation opens.”
The Leader, Cllr Huw David, added: “The ways in which people shop, visit and use town centres continue to evolve, and it is very clear that carefully-planned changes and improvements must be implemented in order to capitalise upon this and ensure that Bridgend does not get left behind.
“In this respect, the masterplan has been set up to act as a catalyst for future growth, and to guide development and regeneration using a clearly defined ‘zone’ approach which will support applications for specific types of funding from both UK and Welsh government, the Cardiff Capital Region deal, private investment and more.
“This promises to provide an exciting, ambitious new chapter for Bridgend town centre which will support future economic growth and prosperity, so make sure that your voice is heard as part of this.”
The Bridgend Town Centre Masterplan consultation will be live between Monday 7 December 2020 and Monday 1 March 2021. You can read the masterplan proposals, view an explainer video and find out more about how you can have your say by visiting the consultations page of www.bridgend.gov.uk