My Aberdare Newsletter February 2012 - Rhondda Cynon Taf

My Aberdare Newsletter February 2012 - Rhondda Cynon Taf

Changing Face of Aberdare

The changing face of Aberdare will soon be visible to residents and

visitors alike, as the £7.7m regeneration project forges ahead.

Aberdare town centre has been home to many

notable poets, composers and was the launch

pad for the National Eisteddfod back in 1861.

The town has also been home to a strong

mining community and once led the way in the

Welsh printing era. Aberdare has seen many

changes over its long history and is set to see

more as it celebrates its heritage by bringing

its history to life through the regeneration of

this well loved town.

Plans for the project were unveiled to the public in

an exhibition in 2011 at St Elvan’s Church. The works

around the town will now see those plans become

a reality.

Cllr Paul Cannon, Cabinet Member for Economic

Development and Safer Communities, said: “The

works will totally transform this historic town.

“We are so pleased to announce that work is

now well underway. The changes can already be

seen in the town and we look forward to seeing

even more over the coming months which I’m

sure will be very impressive.

“From the major improvements to Aberdare

town centre, we look forward to an increase in

confidence in the town and the number of

visitors. This would not only enhance local pride

in Aberdare, but also attract new businesses and

create more job opportunities for local people.

“We thank everyone for their co-operation and

patience over the recent weeks.

“This has been of great assistance to the project and

we look forward to your continued support during

2012. These changes will benefit shoppers, visitors

and local businesses, giving us a town centre to be

proud of.”

Aberdare Regeneration Improvement works programme launched

The £7.7m investment package for Aberdare

includes monies from the Welsh Government

through the European Regional Development

Fund, Heads of the Valleys Programme and

the Targeted Match Fund. The remainder of

the funding package is provided by Rhondda

Cynon Taf Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund,

Cadw and the private sector.

For further information on the Aberdare

Regeneration Scheme visit or call

01443 495150 or email


Welcome to the first

edition of My Aberdare

in which you can find

out all about your

Council’s exciting plans

for Aberdare, many of

which are already

starting to take shape

and are visible as you

look around the town.

We were delighted to secure a package of

regeneration funding of just under £8M for

Aberdare which will see the historic and cultural

appeal of the town restored. Traditionally known

as the Queen of the Valleys, Aberdare will once

again live up to that name through the

improvements to its street scene, public space

and landmark properties.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has been working

hard with its partners for some time now to

prepare what we believe is the right scheme for

Aberdare and we look forward to its completion.

It is clear that things are moving swiftly in the

right direction in Aberdare and we look forward

to having created a better town centre that both

celebrates its past and delivers a bright future.

Councillor Russell Roberts

Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf

County Borough Council

Issue 1 February 2012

Your Aberdare...

Page 2

Works Update, Property Improvements

Page 3

Nurturing Future Engineers, School Safety

Page 4

Aberdare Park & Ride, What’s On

Works Update

Contractors Alun Griffiths are making good progress to

the town centre improvement works scheme which are

heading for completion during winter 2012.

The town’s rich history and architecture will be brought to life

thanks to the use of high quality paving slabs, which are made from

natural stone.

Works are being phased into separate

areas around the town in order to

minimise disruption.

Proposals at Library Square have

been developed to provide an

attractive area that makes better use

of the public space. Works to

complete the paving, construct a

raised stage area and to provide

improved access to the front of the

Library Square

library are ongoing.

Improvement works will be undertaken throughout Commercial

Street and Victoria Square through 2012. In addition to the use of

The My Aberdare website is available at

and provides detailed plans,

up-to-date information and news

about the improvement works

taking place in your town.

high quality paving, these works include

the transformation of the seating area

near Canon Street and includes specially

designed benches.

The project delivery team will continue

to work closely with local traders and

businesses to ensure deliveries and

access are maintained at all times and

the town centre continues with business

as usual.

Aberdare Property Improvements

Improving and preserving both historic and

commercial buildings in the heart of Aberdare

is a priority for the town’s regeneration team as

work on local business properties continues.

Property owners in the town should now have

received guidance on how to apply for either

Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) or Townscape

Enhancement Programme (TEP) funding

to improve commercial buildings.

Some of the changes can already be

seen as you walk around the town

centre, including building improvements

to local hairdresser, Anthony Charles,

which has been fully refurbished and

given a new lease of life thanks to the

Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI).

THI aims to protect and enhance

buildings within the town’s Conservation

Area, whilst also looking to bring empty

and derelict buildings back into use.

Commercial Street

Over 80 properties within the Conservation

Area are eligible for funding from the

initiative, made possible thanks to investment

from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Heritage

Lottery Fund, the Welsh Government through

the European Regional Development Fund,

Heads of the Valleys Programme, Targeted

Before After

Canon Street

Canon Street

Match Funding and Cadw.

Works to properties in the area have been

sympathetic and respectful of the historic nature

of the buildings, with many features from their

Victorian heyday being restored as part of the

approved project.

In addition to THI, TEP offers grant assistance of

up to 70% towards renovation and

improvement works to buildings in the

town that may not be eligible for THI

funding, ensuring that all businesses are

able to benefit from the regeneration

building enhancement programme.

To check your property’s eligibility please

contact the Regeneration and Planning

Division on 01443 495150 or


Alternatively visit

Town Centre Designers

Nurture Future Engineers

Aberdare High School pupils are

benefiting from the £7.7m regeneration

project thanks to Capita Symonds

Glamorgan Office, Treforest.

Capita Symonds Glamorgan Office are the

contracted designers of the town centre

project and are working with year 12 students

from Aberdare High School as part of the STEM

Cymru, Engineering Education Scheme Wales.

The aim of STEM Cymru is to encourage

students to take an interest in science,

technology, engineering and maths and to

consider engineering as a career path.

Back in October, the students chose the

design of the Aberdare Town Centre

Regeneration as their preferred project. The

six students have been busy carrying out

various research and development in to

highways design, landscape architecture and

the use and design of street furniture. Thanks

to the support of Capita Symonds and

graduate engineer Ayodeji Adepoju, the

students are learning the skills they need to

become the design engineers of the future.

The team have selected a number of areas

School Safety Tips from Ivor Goodsite!

Local children are being offered safety tips

in a bid to keep them safe and sound whilst

the town centre undergoes its changes.

Caradog Primary School was the first school

to get a special visit from Ivor Goodsite, who

is the Considerate Constructors mascot. The

within the town centre and considered how

these can be improved for the benefit of the

whole community.

The students are developing all the research

and analytical skills they will need to become

the engineers of tomorrow as well as

communication, problem solving and team

working skills.

Sebastien Boyesen of Sebastien Boyesen

Design and Capita Symonds director Ian

Walsh have also been on hand to offer expert

specialist advice. A software package which

will be instrumental in enabling the students

to produce their work has been provided

courtesy of Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd.

The team is now preparing to submit a

written report of their findings and will be

delivering an oral presentation in March. The

overall submission will then be assessed by a

panel of expert engineers and academics.

Capita Symonds Glamorgan Office is an

innovative joint venture partnership between

Capita Symonds and Rhondda Cynon Taf,

Bridgend and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough

Councils, based in Treforest.

aim of the visit was to raise awareness of the

potential dangers of playing near to

construction sites and offer tips on how to

stay safe. The advice included taking notice of

contractors’ signs and staying clear of

restricted and fenced off areas.

Ivor was well received by the pupils and

presented some very serious messages in a

fun and interactive way, with the children

thoroughly enjoying his visit.

Ivor and Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd will

be continuing their visits to primary schools

within the Aberdare area during 2012.

For more information and safety advice visit

Aberdare Benefits

from Highways

Investment Scheme

Aberdare and the Cynon Valley has benefited

greatly thanks to the £10m highways

investment scheme.

Almost 40 streets in the Cynon Valley and 15

around the town centre have either been

repaired, resurfaced or strengthened, improving

access for shoppers and residents alike.

The highly successful project has led to over

40,000 pot holes and patches being filled

across the County Borough, which is a 200%

increase on previous years. Over 90 miles of

carriageway - the equivalent distance of

travelling from Pontypridd to Tenby - has been

either resurfaced or strengthened.

County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan,

Cabinet Member for Highways said:

"The Council and this administration has

recognised the concerns expressed by the

public at the damage caused from the last three

harsh winters and it is for that very reason we

are investing £10 million in our roads.

“The highway improvements have taken place

right across Rhondda Cynon Taf with every

ward of the County Borough benefiting,

including Aberdare and the Cynon Valley.”

For further information on the

Highways Investment Scheme call

01443 439700 or visit

If you would like to report a pot hole in

your area call 01443 494700 or visit

Aberdare Park and Ride

The £477k Park and Ride project will provide a modern parking facility for Aberdare

Railway Station.

The project, which is funded by the Welsh Government’s Regional Transport Plan Grant, via Sewta

(South East Wales Transport Alliance) has been developed by the Council and forms part of the Sewta

regional approach to encouraging travel by rail.

Designed by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and supported by Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail, the

refurbishment and extension of the existing facility is being carried out by contractor BAM Nuttall Ltd.

These improvements form part of the Sewta initiative to promote and deliver improved public

transport across the region. The Sewta regional consortium, an alliance of the 10 south-east

Wales local authorities, has secured funding from Welsh Government’s Rail Forward Programme

for these works.

The project will include:-

• Installation of new drainage and culvert

protection to the large culvert that runs

underneath the site,

• Street lighting,


• New footways,

• New entrance/exit point,

• Carriageway surfacing,

• Increased car parking spaces from 30 to 130,

• Disabled parking facilities and Disabled access.

Work will commence late January and is anticipated to be open to the public by the Spring of 2012.

The existing car park will remain closed during the course of the works.

What’s on in Aberdare

Aberdare has got something for everyone, from beautiful parks and open spaces to shopping and

theatre shows. Check out the latest event going on in your Aberdare…..

Coliseum Theatre

01685 881188

Concert & Cakes

Wednesday 22 February 1.00pm & 3.00pm

Tickets cost £4.00

Cwmbach Male Voice Choir

St David’s Day Concert

Saturday 3 March 7.30pm.

Tickets from £8

The Acoustic Session in association with

Cynon Valley Acoustic Club

Tuesday 6 March 7.30pm

Tickets cost £3

Dare Valley Country Park

01685 874672

T^y Hafan 'Do you Dare?' Challenge

Sunday 25 March 2012, from 9:00am - 4:00pm,

cost £10 per person reg. fee plus sponsorship.

Aberdare Golf Club

Mayors Charity Golf Tournament

Friday 20th April

Cost £80 per pair – includes competition entry,

refreshments, 2 course meal and


Call 01443 424123 or email

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is committed to encouraging visitors to Aberdare with a packed

diary of fantastic shows to look forward to throughout 2012, with plans for an exciting new

event in the pipe line.

As work on the Aberdare Town Centre Regeneration project continues, we

will keep you informed of each phase of work.

For further details, call the dedicated Helpline on 0845 5611194 or visit the


Speak to:

Regarding Town Centre Improvement Works - Liaison Officer on 0844 5611194

Regarding Property Improvements - Kerry Vicker, Regeneration & Planning

Project Officer on 01443 495150, email

Final Rugby Tour

Cash Boost

Aberdare RFC Under-14’s rugby team will

shortly head off on their final tour thanks

to a cash boost from Alun Griffiths

(Contractors) Ltd.

Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd have

sponsored the club’s tour of Italy, which will

see the boys represent their home town,

flying the flag proudly for Aberdare.

The special tour will mark the under-14’s final

year together by arranging a memorable trip

to Italy, where the boys will play against a

number of teams in the north of the country

and hopefully take part in a national


The team have been together for the last

seven seasons and this will be their final tour

together before the majority of players move

on to take part in the Cynon Valley Schools

rugby programme. Following their

connections with the Cynon Valley, the

youngsters will later return to the youth

section and will play for the under 16s to

under 18s.


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