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Port Talbot’s docklands regeneration work to begin

Port Talbot’s former docks area. Credit: NPT Council

Work on regenerating the Harbourside Strategic Employment Site in Port Talbot’s former docks area is to begin next week (March 22nd).

Improvement work at the site will be the catalyst for Neath Port Talbot Council’s redevelopment of the town’s former docklands into a thriving waterfront business and industrial centre attracting further private investment to help drive employment growth.

Once the improvement work is completed by experienced Port Talbot based contractors Andrew Scott Ltd, the site will provide land for industrial and office users maximising the advantage of the site’s closeness to the town centre and to excellent transport links.

The project includes remediation of former brownfield land, construction of access roads, the upgrading of existing highway to an adoptable standard and flood mitigation measures.

Localised Traffic Diversions will be in place on Harbour Way adjacent to the site for a period of approximately 14 weeks while a new culvert is constructed across the highway.

The improvement scheme, expected to take around ten months, has secured £2.7m worth of funding from the European Regional Development Fund via the Welsh Government and there will be benefits for property developers and both new and existing businesses at the Harbourside Strategic Employment site and its surrounding areas.

Project outputs include:
• 3 hectares land developed
• 240m length of highway created
• 205m length of highway improved
• 240m length of active travel route created
• 2.5 hectares – areas of development land with improved access
• 0.2 hectares of additional car parking space created

The work will help facilitate the delivery of Neath Port Talbot Council’s Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth Swansea Bay City Deal project, once funding approval has been secured.

The overall Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth programme is estimated to be worth £6.2m a year to the local economy once all projects are operational. More than 1,300 jobs will be created or safeguarded, with at least 30% of these to be new.

Work has already started on part of the Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth project, the self powering technology centre building currently under construction at the Baglan Bay Energy Park.

The flagship, green facility will provide flexible office space for start-up companies and growing local businesses with a focus on the Research and Development and Innovation sectors and will play a big part in delivering low carbon, sustainable economic growth across Swansea Bay.
Other Neath Port Talbot City Deal projects include multi-million pound plans to support the steel industry and reduce its carbon footprint, the introduction of an electric vehicle charging network and proposals to better predict and improve air quality.

Cllr Annette Wingrave, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development, said: “This improvement project will enable the site for future development with the jobs and investment which come with that. It will also provide additional car parking to support the development of the sites in the former docks area.”

The investment in the new development at Harbourside follows substantial EU funding in the regeneration of Port Talbot including £54m for the Harbour Way M4 link road, £7.5m in TWI’s engineering research centre and £2.5m in the town’s new Integrated Transport Hub.

Cllr Wingrave added: “This important project will contribute to the continued development of Harbourside, the Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone and the wider Swansea Bay City Region and its various projects, strengthening its viability as a destination to live and work, as well as meeting existing demand for development land in the area.”