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Porthcawl’s Coney Beach funfair sold for regeneration plans

(Adobe Stock)

Plans for a multi-million pound regeneration of Porthcawl’s waterfront moved a step closer today as Welsh Government confirmed the purchase of key pieces of land.

Climate Change Minister Julie James today (Friday 31 March) confirmed that Welsh Government has secured the ownership on vital parcels of land within a 20 hectare site that is central to Bridgend County Borough Council’s regeneration plans.

Aerial view of Porthcawl beach harbour and fun fair in South Wales UK

The land, which is located at Sandy Bay, will now be used as part of an exciting, mixed-use development featuring low carbon housing (up to half of which will be affordable) and all-new retail, commercial, recreational, and leisure opportunities for the benefit of visitors and residents.

The sale includes the freehold interest in the Coney Beach Amusement Park site and the leasehold interest in an adjoining section of land known locally as the ‘monster park’ as it was previously used to exhibit sculptures of dinosaurs.

With the two sites now unlocked for significant new development, Welsh Government and Bridgend County Borough Council will work in partnership to regenerate the area in line with the Local Development Plan and the Placemaking Strategy for Porthcawl.

As part of the ambitious new plans for the area, Griffin Park will double in size. Access to the beach will be improved, and new retail, business and visitor facilities will be introduced along with a new primary school and around 900 much-needed new homes.

The plans for the area, which draw on feedback from a recent community consultation asking local people what sort of facilities they want for Porthcawl, include new and significantly improved open space for residents and visitors to enjoy. This is in addition to a 200 metre seaside park already planned as part of the nearby Salt Lake development.

As part of the deal, the amusement park will continue to operate for up to three years with work expected to begin on site soon after.

Climate Change Minister Julie James said: “These are exciting plans for Porthcawl and I am delighted they are able to progress for the benefits of communities and future generations. Porthcawl offers a unique opportunity to deliver affordable homes in an attractive waterfront setting.

“I now look forward to delivering this opportunity in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council. Together, we can regenerate the waterfront, and make the town an even better place to live and visit.”

Cllr Neelo Farr, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:

This move is a major sign of confidence in Porthcawl and represents a highly significant investment from Welsh Government which recognises the area’s importance and potential.

By unlocking and expediating the acquisition of this land, Welsh Government has effectively enabled the council to focus more of its resources upon maximising the benefits of regeneration. As a result, we will be increasing the amount of affordable housing that will become available as part of this project, and safeguarding higher levels of quality than was previously possible.

We are delighted that Welsh Government has demonstrated this sign of faith in our plans for Porthcawl, and look forward to working together in close partnership in order to deliver long-lasting, high-quality, sustainable regeneration that will be of benefit to residents and visitors alike.

Sarah Murphy, Member of the Senedd for Bridgend, said: “The purchase of land at Sandy Bay offers a unique opportunity for Porthcawl.

“I am so pleased the Welsh Government has been able to unlock the potential of this site, working together with Bridgend County Borough Council to deliver on the regeneration plan for the seafront area as well as delivering much needed social and affordable homes.”

Pat Evans, of Coney Beach Amusement Park, said: “Generations of our family have lived and worked alongside each other here at Coney Beach for over 100 years. We will be forever proud of our showman heritage and the memories that we have created for all our customers who have visited us and shared in our love of the ‘fun of the fair’ and the legacy that Coney Beach leaves.

“We are confident in Welsh Government and Bridgend County Borough Council’s ability to deliver on the community’s ambitions as we move into this new era, and were pleased to agree to operate Coney Beach for a few more years to give continuity for the town before the redevelopment commences. May Porthcawl continue to prosper.”