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Preparing the Pontypridd Bingo Hall site for redevelopment

Credit: RCT Council

Visitors to Pontypridd Town Centre may notice works activity within the former Bingo Hall site next week, after the Council appointed a contractor to carry out initial preparatory work ahead of its full redevelopment in the New Year.

Prichard’s Contracting will undertake advanced ground works from Monday, November 6, following the previous demolition of the former Bingo Hall and Angharad’s Nightclub buildings. In May 2023, the Council announced that the area would be redeveloped into a vibrant and inviting open space, which was one of the well-supported ideas for the site in a previous public consultation.

A small element of the site, next to A4058 Sardis Road, will be converted into new bus stop bays using Welsh Government funding – to better integrate bus and rail services as part of the South Wales Metro. The new bays and waiting facilities will enable southbound buses to serve the bottom end of the town, and will be in use before the 2024 National Eisteddfod of Wales in Pontypridd.

Activity from Monday (November 6) will include earthworks and enabling work for utility and drainage infrastructure, to be completed by Christmas. It will be contained within the site hoarding on the town centre side, ensuring minimal everyday disruption to businesses and visitors. However, High Street will be closed to traffic for at least two Sundays in November to undertake trial holes on existing utilities. The Council will share details of this work in due course.

For the duration of the preparatory work (from November 6), a single lane closure will be needed at Sardis Road – reducing southbound traffic to one lane. A footway closure on Sardis Road is also needed along the site, but the current pedestrian access into the town centre will be maintained as normal.

After the preparatory work is completed, the site will close for the Christmas and New Year period, before the main scheme starts early next year. The Council has begun a tender process to appoint a contractor for those works.

Development of the quality public space plan for the site

The Council has been working closely with a specialist multi-disciplinary team to develop the proposals, and this process continues. The space will provide a quality public realm open space, and will ensure the newly-revealed views to the high street, exposed when the bingo hall buildings were demolished, will be retained. It will also introduce greenery and planting to the townscape.

The site will provide a safe and accessible pedestrian route from Sardis Road into the town centre – well-located for train users arriving in Pontypridd, and also bus users taking advantage of the new bays being established at Sardis Road. A dedicated seating area will also be provided for train and bus users.

The area will act as a clear, legible arrival point at the southern end of the town centre, with clear way-finding signage and visitor information. A small-scale food/drink outlet will also operate there, with a dedicated seating area.

Councillor Mark Norris, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Development and Prosperity, said: “These initial works at the Pontypridd Bingo Hall site, up until Christmas, will prepare the area for redevelopment – which is planned to follow early in the New Year. These are very exciting times for the town centre, to bring a major strategic site back into use after many years of it being derelict – revitalising the site into a quality public realm with a small food outlet, and new bus bays to serve the southern end of town.

“Last year the Council consulted residents about how best to redevelop the site as part of a wider discussion about the Pontypridd Placemaking Plan. A quality open space was one of the best-supported proposals, with advantages including improved access into the southern end of town, and to retain the natural light and views that were revealed following demolition of the site.

“The Pontypridd Placemaking Plan was approved last year to continue our regeneration investment, following the excellent progress of the Pontypridd Regeneration Framework from 2017 to 2022 – when Llys Cadwyn and Cwrt yr Orsaf were delivered, and important progress was made at the Pontypridd YMCA, Muni Arts Centre and Ynysangharad Park. The Plan identifies core ambitions, including a ‘Southern Gateway’ that utilises several strategic sites.

“The former bingo hall site has been developed to complement the ‘riverside plaza’ plans for the old M&S and Dorothy Perkins site, which was recently demolished. Other key landmarks earmarked for development include railway station forecourt and the pedestrian crossing route over the A4058 – while a new green events space is just one element of the investment being delivered at Ynysangharad Park.

“The works from November 6 will largely be contained within the existing site boundary of the former bingo hall buildings – so the overall disruption to the Town Centre is expected to be minimal. A lane and footway closure is needed on Sardis Road for the duration of the work, while road closures at High Street will be scheduled on Sundays to minimise disruption. Thanks to residents, road users and local businesses for your cooperation in the weeks ahead.”