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BRYNGARW COUNTRY PARK: £150k given for revamp

BRYNGARW COUNTRY PARK: £150k given for revamp

Image: LDRS

Councillors have welcomed almost £150,000 from the Welsh Government to revamp public facilities at Bryngarw Country Park including a sculpture trail and solar panels.

Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) accepted the funds, which will go towards a ‘sculpture heritage trail’, extra solar panels, and improvements to the car park, wooden boardwalk and public toilets.

Council leader Huw David said: “It’s really, really good news to see more investment in one of our key valley destinations.

“It is a very important destination for visitors to the country borough and I think that importance is only going to grow post-Covid.

“There’s this huge untapped potential right across our valleys and I’m thrilled that we have secured this additional investment in the site. I look forward to seeing the works completed.”

The council’s cabinet members accepted a grant of £147,000 from the Welsh Government during a meeting held on Tuesday January 19.

BCBC will not be required to match any of the funding, which will be delivered under the Valleys Regional Partnership.

The council’s cabinet member for communities Richard Young said accepting the funding offer from the government is “a no brainer”.

He said the offer to fit extra solar panels at the park “fits very nicely” with the council’s 2030 energy strategy.

A report by Janine Nightingale, the council’s corporate director of communities, reads: “As well as making the park more sustainable by reducing electricity bills, the full project would be a visible example of green energy in action and would reduce its carbon footprint.”

The report also states the sculpture trail could “encourage visitors to explore the expanse of the country park, discover different habitats and connect with heritage and modern day stories”.

The Valley’s Regional Park is a partnership between the Welsh Government Ministerial Taskforce for the Valleys, Natural Resources Wales, Visit Wales, government officials in health and environment and Valleys’ local authorities including BCBC, Merthyr Tydfil Council and Rhondda Cynon Taff Council.

The initiative aims to encourage people to visit areas of natural and cultural heritage in South Wales.

In 2018, the government revealed a list of locations that could apply for investment including Parc Slip Nature Reserve and Bryngarw Country Park, both situated in Bridgend County. Local authorities were asked to submit funding proposals in April 2019.

In September 2019, the government gave BCBC a grant of £500,000 to invest in a new education centre, visitor centre, active travel facilities, trees and a wildlife pond at Bryngarw Country Park.

The £147,000 recently accepted by the council was offered in addition to this funding.

By accepting the offer, BCBC will enter into a revised agreement with Awen Cultural Trust, which runs the park on the council’s behalf.

Words: Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter

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