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Vibrant and Viable Places Programme

Merthyr Tydfil Council has received £12.873m under the Vibrant and Viable Places Framework to target regeneration projects in Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre. Our funds will be supported by public and private investment.

There are three key project themes which are:

  • Housing to create a sustainable and affordable housing within the town centre enabling residents to live healthy, productive lives in a safe, strong environment
  • Economic Vitality which links to training and best practice for local businesses, especially town centre retailers as well as facilities offering joined up services to support employability addressing a range of needs including childcare, training and support
  • Sustainable Vibrant Communities which relates to quality and affordable leisure facilities within the town center
Some of the key projects include:
General Hospital

The derelict General Hospital is a target for vandalism and anti social behavior. Vibrant and Viable Places funding will include a feasibility study to assess the viability of the site for housing. Match funding for the project will come from the private sector.

Pontmorlais Promenade / Labour Exchange

The historic and iconic building is currently derelict. The site has been purchased Wales and West housing association that will redeveloped the site for affordable homes whilst retaining the historic façade . Vibrant and Viable Places funding will prepare the land and provide an access road and necessary engineering works to the site. The Housing Association will work in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council on the project. Match funding has been secured from our Social Housing Grant.

Theatre Royal

This is a key listed building in the town centre, options are currently being investigated for the site with an option to be developed into housing. MTCBC are currently working closely with owner and CADW.

Miners Hall / Arms

Working in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association, this project will redevelop two derelict buildings: the Miners Arms and the Miners Hall into social housing situated in the heart of the town centre. The Miners Arms is a Grade II listed building and the project will provide much needed homes. It will also integrate public art into the town centre and improve the town’s built environment, linking with the recently renovated Redhouse (the Old Town Hall). Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council will work with Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association and Arts Council Wales on the project. Match funding will be sought from Heritage Lottery Fund and Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association.

Synagogue

This building is deteriorating and requires work to bring back into use. It is included within the Central Merthyr Housing Development Project and of which we are working closely with the private sector owner to look at possible options.

YMCA

The iconic and historic YMCA listed building will be refurbished to provide high quality office accommodation for small and medium sized businesses. Carmarthenshire Heritage Regeneration Trust have acquired the building and will be a key partner on the project. Part of the match funding has been secured through Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’s capital programme and Heritage Lottery Fund.

115 High Street

This is a listed building positioned on the High Street and was an eyesore and structurally dangerous. Options are currently being developed with the new owner.

Cyfarthfa Heritage Area

Cyfarthfa Castle and Park are a unique and valuable part of the heritage of Merthyr Tydfil. The castle is a Grade I listed building and the Vibrant and Viable Places funding will restore the northwest part of the building and provide a suite of offices, an education centre and facilities for the existing museum. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council will work in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Trust and the Friends of Cyfarthfa Park. Match funding for the project is being sought.

St. Davids Hall

St David’s Hall is a Grade 2 listed building with a large stage and back stage area. The building has now been refurbished and will compliment the services offered at Soar Chapel and Redhouse (the Old Town Hall). The three venues will work together to meet the creative and artistic needs of the community. To stop the building from falling into disrepair in the future, a maintenance programme will be established together, along with reserved capital funding from Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. The council will work in partnership with St. David’s Church and the match funding has been secured.

Bus Station

Currently there are high levels of anti-social behavior in the current bus station. Redevelopment gives the opportunity for a new retail and leisure development that is accessible. Following an extensive community consultation, Cabinet approval was sought to relocate the Bus Station site. A planning application is due to be submitted in the Summer following a public consultation on the designs.

Penydarren Park

Merthyr Tydfil Football Club wants to redevelop Penydarren Park to become a high-quality community leisure complex offering conference facilities. A new 3G pitch was funded through Ffos Y Fran in 2013 and the redevelopment of Penydarren Park is linked to two other Vibrant and Viable Places projects. Merthyr County Borough Council will work in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil Football Club. Match funding for this project has already been secured and the project has commenced on site with completion expected in the autumn.

North Merthyr housing redevelopment

Nine sites in the northern Merthyr Tydfil area which have the potential to attract private investment have been prioritised for development. The Vibrant and Viable Places funding will be used for site investigations, surveys and address planning constraints. It will also be used to market the sites and attract private sector investment. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council will be the lead in taking this forward and match funding has been identified from the Merthyr Tydfil capital programme.

Gellideg Flats

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Merthyr Valley Homes will work in partnership to bring empty properties in the Gellideg area back into use as homes. Although no Vibrant and Viable Places funding is allocated, this project is closely related to the Gellideg Eco Centre which will enable the Gellideg Foundation Group to move into a new purpose built facility.

Gellideg Eco Centre

Vibrant and Viable Places funding will help the Gellideg Foundation Group (GFG) build a new training centre. This project will also enable the block of flats currently occupied by GFG to be renovated as part of the Gellideg Flats Cooperative. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council will work in partnership with the Gellideg Foundation Group, Communities First and Merthyr Valley Homes. Match funding for the project is being sought.

Trails, links and open spaces

Vibrant and Viable Places funding will pay for the clean up of Nant Morlais Brook and linking up the Taff Trail and Trevithick Trails. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council will work in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil Trails and Access Group. Match funding has been secured through the Local Transport Fund and the Metro Consortium for a series of new trail improvements linking Cyfarthfa Retail Park to the wider Heritage Area and through to the town centre. This will include widen pavements and installation of new cycle lanes.

Nant Morlais Micro Hydro

Feasibility study undertaken outlining that no sites are viable within the VVP boundary area. Currently looking at options and working with WG at potentially re-profiling the funding aligned to this project.

ECO Scheme

The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) is a programme administered by Ofgem for the UK Government. The Vibrant and Viable Places funding will allow Merthyr County Borough Council to develop large scale home energy projects which will attract ECO funding from energy companies. The council will develop capital schemes with a minimum value of £1m in partnership with us and the private sector.

Vacant property grants

The grants will bring long-term empty properties back into use targeting long term vacant properties that have been vacant for at least 6 months. The council will work with the private sector which will also supply match funding.

Enterprise Hub

The Enterprise Hub is a pilot project developed by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council with Taste of Enterprise and Tydfil Training Consortium to deliver co-ordinated support. This project aims to increase the number of new businesses in Merthyr Tydfil town centre through support and up-skilling. Support will include developing ideas into viable propositions, business planning, financial projections, test trading, marketing, digital up skilling, grant support, e-commerce and transition support for those receiving benefits. Existing businesses will also be able to access these services. The support will be underpinned by a retail forum and will link with the business community through the Merthyr Tydfil Business Club. Match funding will come from private sector investment.

Projects supporting the Vibrant and Viable Places framework

The following projects are not funded by the Vibrant and Viable Places framework but supports its aims:

Heartlands

Heartlands is a challenging site located in Dowlais which has been allocated for housing development. A phased approach is proposed which will deal with contamination. The work will mean the site can be sold and developed further.

Goatmill Road

The local authority will work with a registered social landlord to develop land at Goatmill Road into a mixture of affordable and market value housing.

Pontmorlais Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI)

The Townscape Heritage Initiative will bring historic, derelict buildings in Pontmorlais back into use. This programme will link the training opportunities offered by the Trevithick House project and Merthyr College to help local companies win specialist work. Funding has been secured through the Heritage Lottery Fund and CADW.

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