A £14.6m investment to breathe new life into three towns across Neath Port Talbot, creating 22 jobs has been announced by the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis, today [12 December 2011].

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council has received funding to help boost the economic development of Neath, Port Talbot and Croeserw. The regeneration plans aim to provide a better environment for the local community and businesses as well as attracting visitors and potential investors to the towns.

David Rees AM said:
“I am delighted that Port Talbot and Croeserw will benefit from the announcement of an investment of £14.6 million from the Welsh government; including the building of the new community centre in Croeserw. This centre will provide a new resource facility for the community in an area which is one of the most deprived in wales. This money will also provide an opportunity to reinvigorate the town Centre and encourage more businesses to come into Port Talbot”.

The scheme will receive a £9.6m Welsh Government funding package, which includes support from the European Regional Development Fund, the Western Valleys Regeneration Area and Cadw. The remainder of the funding will come from the Council and private sector resources.

While on a visit to Neath, Mr Lewis said: “Creating an attractive environment will instill renewed pride from the community, increase commercial confidence and employment opportunities, building an area in which people can live, work and thrive.

Deputy Minister for European Programmes, Alun Davies, said: “This investment demonstrates how our management of EU funds ensures we can back vital projects which will create jobs, better business opportunities and generate greater prosperity for the area.”

Improvements include public realm works in all three towns and a purpose built community enterprise centre at Croeserw. There will also be funding for businesses to make improvements to their commercial properties and a property development fund to help create the right infrastructure for businesses to thrive.

Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Ali Thomas, said: “Neath Port Talbot Council is committed to actively supporting its town centres and local traders. This cash boost is very welcome. It will help to secure and revitalise the town centres in the county borough into the future.”