A YES vote for the Business Improvement District!
Town-centre based businesses and national organisations have voted in favour of a
flagship organisation to promote, welcome, engage and transform Merthyr Tydfil. The
“Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil” Business Improvement District (BID) was approved at a
ballot on Wednesday 4th July 2012.
The new organisation will invest c. £1m on a comprehensive programme of
improvements in Merthyr Tydfil town centre over the next five years. This consists of
£650,000 from local organisations, a commitment from the Welsh Government of
£223,000, plus Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council are looking to provide a yearly
investment of approximately.£30,000 to be reviewed annually.
The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil’s Steering Group Chair, Les Byard commented: “This is
a tremendous result for Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre. It brings together 250 businesses to
attract more visitors, improve the perception of safety and focus on the needs of the town.
There were many who were sceptical about the idea in the beginning. But after engaging
with the steering group and discussing the proposal in detail, they came to realise its full
potential. I would like to thank the steering group members, the Means (who have guided
us through this process), the Welsh Government and Merthyr Tydfil Council for their
commitment and support throughout. But most of all I thank the town’s businesses who
have had the foresight and confidence to back this project”.
The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil is the second BID in Wales and the (129th) in the UK.
BIDs are playing a prominent role in the management and promotion of many of the
UK’s towns and cities such as Swansea (Swansea BID).
For further information, and to find out what will happen next as the BID offically
launches in October, please contact Tom Evans on Telephone: 07511 722 332 or e-mail
Caedraw School name and open Iron Town Link
School pupils in Merthyr Tydfil welcomed the Deputy Minister for European
Programmes, Alun Davies AM, to the town while on a visit to see first hand
progress being made to regenerate the centre with backing from EU funds.
The pupils from Caedraw Primary School greeted the Deputy Minister on the new
footpath linking Merthyr College to the town centre, Taff trail and the Welsh
Government and Orbit offices in Rhydycar.
During his visit, the pupils named the new footpath, The Iron Town Link, which
has been completed as part of Merthyr Council's £24m Merthyr Tydfil
Regeneration Scheme - backed by the European Regional Development Fund
and Heads of the Valleys Programme through the Welsh Government.
The 1.2km route will make it easier for both walkers and cyclists to
access work, training and the lower town centre where improvements have also
been made through the Objective 1 programme. The route also includes one of
the first bridges in Wales to be made entirely from recycled plastic while giving
the appearance that it is made from wood.
Deputy Headteacher of Caedraw School, Neil Hancox, said:
"Year six have decided to call the path the 'Iron Town Link' because it joins the
Iron Town of Merthyr Tydfil and the new offices and developments at Rhydycar.
In the past there were iron-stone mines in the area,and through their studies, the
children have seen the iron stone and coal when they investigated the area.
They've also read a book called the Iron Town Boy - about a young boy
searching for work and the town's industrial heritage
Minister launches new Town Centre Regeneration Information Shop
On July 5th the Deputy Minister, Alun Davies, officially opened the new
regeneration information shop on the former Watchmaker's Shop, where
members of the public will be able to view plans and find out about the
improvements proposed for the area.
Deputy Minister for European Programmes, Alun Davies AM, said:
"It's great to see how EU funding is helping to drive forward regeneration in and
around Merthyr Tydfil. Improving the environment in which people live and work
will increase the economic potential of the area - attracting investment and
stimulating employment opportunities."
The regeneration plans extend to other parts of the town which will also be
revived through the creation of a new public space at the Gateway to the
Pontmorlais Heritage Area and improved access to the train station. A Building
Enhancement Programme will be available offering funding to help businesses
make improvements to their commercial properties, enhancing the character of
Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Councillor Brendan Toomey,
"The Town Centre Regeneration Programme is now well underway, and the
opening of the new Regeneration Information Shop will provide members of the
public with information on the developments taking place to enhance our Town
Centre, to which more people can now access via the newly-named 'Iron Town
The Town Centre Regeneration Information Shop is open from 9am until 1pm
Monday to Friday for the public and local businesses to call in with any queries
they have regarding the regeneration programme. To contact the shop please
call (01685) 726272, or e-mail email@example.com
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Town Centre Regeneration – Join the Conversation
Last year we undertook a large scale public consultation on the Town Centre
Regeneration Programme and asked you to take part and help us prioritise the projects we
were putting forward. Following that consultation you prioritised the projects in the
1. Building Enhancement Scheme (a grant scheme for business owners to improve their
2. River Taff Central Link (a traffic system, including an iconic bridge to allow easier
access in and around the town centre and allow future retail developments)
3. Railway Station Access Improvements (to improve the access to the High Street and
4. Multi-story Car Park (to provide decked car parking at the Castel Street Car Park)
5. Penderyn Square (a new public square outside the Town Hall with public realm
improvements to Castle Street)
6. College Green (to create a safe access to and from The College at Merthyr Tydfil to the
Since the consultation ended in October 2011, we have been undertaking extensive
ground investigations, designs and planning for the six schemes. We are now nearing a
stage where we have detailed designs for the public to view and comment upon.
We are planning on holding another public consultation; this will be launched on
September 3rd with:
Online consultation at www.merthyrtydfil.org.uk
Displays at the Regeneration Information Shop
4 day town centre exhibition at St Tydfil’s Shopping Centre from Wednesday
12th until Saturday 15th September 2012.