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Rhymney estate residents prove their area ‘rocks’ at community event

Residents on a Rhymney estate proved that their area ‘rocks’ at a recent community event.

The ‘Rowan Rocks’ event, held on Wednesday 11th April, was organised by Caerphilly County Borough Council as an opportunity to bring the community together to celebrate the completion of a £5 million regeneration programme on the Rowan Place estate.  The event was also used to welcome new tenants to the area; with several of them having recently moved into previously vacant, fully refurbished homes in Rowan Place.

During the event residents decorated rocks to hide around the local area for others to find; encouraging people to explore their surroundings and bringing the community together.  Rocks were donated by Robert Price Builders’ Merchants, the council’s single source supply partner for its Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) improvement programme.

The event was organised by the council’s Caerphilly Homes and Community Regeneration teams, who engaged with residents at the event to gain their views on the regeneration programme.  All of those who attended the event said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the improvements to Rowan Place, with 100% also stating they felt better about their local area since regeneration works completed.

The programme of regeneration works in Rowan Place included extensive improvements to the inside of council tenants’ homes, combined with external works to the homes of both tenants and private residents on the estate, and a number of environmental improvements to the wider area.  The targeted demolition of two blocks of flats also helped reduce population density and open up the central area of the estate which has been landscaped to create a more usable community space.

At the event residents were also able to find out more about services available from the Hafod Deg Resource Centre on Rhymney High Street, with members of the council’s Community Regeneration team on hand to provide information about the range of support available from the facility.

Hafod Deg is a multi-agency community hub; providing services from the council’s Community Regeneration team, a local foodbank, Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service (GDAS), mental health charity Growing Space, Hafal, Mind, Citizens Advice Bureau and Gwent Specialist Substance Misuse Service (GSSMS).  The facility also has its own wood workshop and community garden, with a new sensory section due to be launched soon.

The event was also attended by the council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Places, Cllr Lisa Phipps, along with local ward member Cllr Carl Cuss.

Irene Weaver, a tenant in Rowan Place, said “The improvements to my bungalow have made it much warmer and I had a walk-in shower fitted as part of the work which makes it much easier for me to manage.  I’m very pleased with everything that’s been done in Rowan Place and would like to thank everyone who worked here; they were all marvellous.  I feel proud now to live in Rowan Place; I look around and think how lovely it looks.”

Cllr Lisa Phipps, the council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Places, added “The investment into Rowan Place has seen the area transformed significantly.  The regeneration of Rowan Place has been a flagship programme for the council and the multi-agency approach piloted here, to tackle the range of issues experienced locally, is being rolled out to other areas within the county borough.  It’s been great to come along to the event, to talk to the community and to hear about the difference the improvements have made to individual tenants like Irene.”

The regeneration programme in Rowan Place was funded by the council’s Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) improvement programme and Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places Tackling Poverty Fund.  Caerphilly County Borough Council also receives a Major Repairs Allowance from Welsh Government; in 2017/18 it received £7,347,000 which contributed to WHQS improvements.

For more information on the services offered at Hafod Deg Resource Centre contact the team on 01685 844353.