Bridgend County Borough Council to submit major projects to the Levelling Up programme

Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet has agreed to submit two major local projects to the UK Government’s Levelling Up programme and they could now be in line to receive cash funding that would benefit residents all over the county borough.

Submissions have been made to receive funding for the re-development of the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl and the rebuilding of Penprysg railway bridge in Pencoed.

The programme sets out a clear agenda to support cultural investment such as helping to maintain, regenerate, or creatively repurpose museums, galleries, visitor attractions and heritage assets as well as creating new community-owned spaces to support the arts and serve as cultural spaces.

Here are the outlines of the two bids:

Porthcawl Grand Pavilion (Bridgend constituency bid)

This project has been in development since 2016 when Awen Cultural Trust in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council, commissioned a study on the options for enhancing and re-developing the Grade II Listed building.

The main aims of the renewal of the Grand Pavilion are to address the issues of risk to the building fabric that exist in the condition of the concrete structure, whilst also meeting the needs and aspirations of local people for extended and improved arts, heritage and library services.

The proposed new facilities include:

  • New function spaces at first floor (Esplanade) level
  • New rooftop function and cafe spaces offering elevated sea-views across the Bristol Channel
  • New Studio theatre and ancillary facilities
  • Increased and improved welfare facilities including new changing places facility,
  • Business incubation or workshop spaces to street level
  • New office facilities

The re-development of the Grand Pavilion clearly represents an opportunity for a flagship and legacy capital scheme. It is also a key component of the wider Porthcawl Regeneration Programme.

 Penprysg Railway Bridge (Transport proposal)

The Penprysg railway bridge proposal has been a long-standing project for Bridgend County Borough Council and is included in the current Local Development Plan.

This project will result in a new bridge on Penprysg road so that it can accommodate two-way traffic leading to the eventual closure of Pencoed’s railway level crossing. There will also be an all-new active travel bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Pencoed level crossing is on the South Wales mainline railway route and when in operation there is a build-up of road traffic leading to significant congestion in the town centre.

The plans will also unlock potential development land located to the west of the current level crossing, and enable fresh investment and facilities to be introduced.

Cllr Neelo Farr, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “These projects can offer many benefits to residents all over the county borough. The Grand Pavilion is part of the fabric of Porthcawl and the Levelling Up programme presents a fantastic opportunity to preserve its status for generations to come, whilst improving facilities even further.

“The Penprysg railway bridge also has many positives and would help to improve traffic in the area as well as creating better routes for pedestrians and cyclists. The community will also benefit by fresh investment on the land unlocked by the work.

“We are also working on an additional bid for the Ogmore constituency, which we will look to submit in the next round of bidding.”