Dawn Bowden is the Labour Senedd Member for the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney constituency.
We have entered the new year under Covid-19 restrictions. I know it is such a tough time and our best hope lies in the rollout of the vaccine. I am pleased that with each passing week, more and more people are receiving their jab through local GPs and the vaccination centre at the council offices in Ty Penallta.
I thought I would start 2021 with some better news and share some of the spending plans that Gerald Jones MP and I have been discussing with Caerphilly County Borough Council. Last year it was of course good to see the development at the Lawns Industrial estate and the improvement to facilities at rail stations on the Rhymney line.
Rhymney High Street
Following site meetings, a schedule of works will be undertaken to address some of the environmental concerns raised with us. The council’s Regeneration Team has earmarked £20,000 of our Enhanced Maintenance Budget to undertake some of these works this financial year and it is hoped that this work will be concluded before March 31, 2021.
Grants to local business
Caerphilly County Borough Council can also now offer the Valleys Task Force grant to local businesses in the Upper Rhymey Valley and there is £250,000 available up to the end of March 2021.
The Winding House
In addition, the council has confirmed grant offers from the Welsh Government for the Winding House, New Tredegar, as follows:
- £6,791 for a Small Project Grant from Art Fund. This funding is designated to the design and population of a new website for New Tredegar Winding House which provides online access to our museum collection, handling collection and art gallery.
- £2,805.50 through the Cultural Resilience Fund from the Welsh Government. This will support safe reopening of the Winding House, funding protective screens around visitor services, coffee shop and till points and visitor PPE for six months following reopening.
- £763 through a Covid-19 Reopening Grant from Art Fund and Welsh Government. This will fund advertising of new online/outreach services available to schools in response to the pandemic.
- £10,370 through the Cultural Service Fund from Welsh Government. This will fund improvements to care of collections practices and restoration of our Victorian winding engine; issues which came to light during service closure in lockdown.
- £4,252 lost income payment from Welsh Government.
- £25,000 funding through the Valleys Task Force for the creation of co-working pilot in the office space on the first floor.
Lawns Industrial Estate
Onsite works are now underway at The Lawns Industrial Estate in Rhymney. The site, which currently hosts a number of existing units, will welcome three new buildings of fifteen individual units. Units are available to lease from Caerphilly County Borough Council and will consist of eight 50sqm units, four 75sqm units and three 98sqm units. This project has been made possible with funding from Caerphilly County Borough Council and the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government. The £2.9m project is a much welcomed boost to the local economy with the prospect of employment for local people.
Heads of the Valleys Corridor
As a Member of the Valleys taskforce we are also planning on undertaking a strategy for the Heads of the Valleys in order that the benefits of the huge investment in the A465 can be maximised across our Valleys communities.
Community Empowerment Fund
I have also welcomed news that the cabinet of Caerphilly County Borough Council is actively seeking to create a Community Empowerment Fund, which may prove a source of further funding for projects in Rhymney in 2021/2022 with the involvement of the local community. I welcome the fact that the council see the community playing an important part in this new fund.
Get in touch
The constituency office is currently closed due to covid restrictions, but you can make contact in the usual way by phone (01685 386 672) or email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 110 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8AP.
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