The Aberystwyth Regeneration Area project will see the Welsh Assembly invest around £10.3 million in the town over a total of 3 years.
The money will be used to fund a variety of regeneration projects in order to improve this vibrant town at the heart of Welsh culture.
It is hoped that the project will not only improve the image of Aberystwyth but also bring economic benefits to the town and the surrounding area too.
Not many people are actually aware that Aberystwyth town centre is the most deprived ward in the whole of Wales when it comes to housing. The standard of property along with its size and use as individual flats can attribute towards overcrowding statistics and a major part of the project will look to improve the quality of town centre housing and promote energy efficiency.
Other areas of work include the transport gateway which can already be seen in full swing as you walk past the bus and tran stations. Further to this consultations have already taken place with regards to the development of the promenade and bandstand which is a great asset to the town.
The promenade for example is going to be the centre of a project to encourage al fresco dining and a cafe culture on the sea front. For this to succeed it would be a requirement that the pavement area on the building side of the promenade is widened in order to accommodate pedestrian access and dining areas.
The promenade will also become the centre of more activities in future to encourage more people to use it, although many at present already do. However the more people that are attracted into the town the better for the local economy.
One controversial part of the Regeneration Area project is the development of a new retail centre on Mill Street car park which has already been given much coverage both on this site and in other media. However it is again worth noting that many shoppers leave Aberystwyth in search of places with more on offer such as Carmarthern, Swansea and Shrewsbury.
With regards to job creation the Welsh Assembly is looking to work with council run Communities First to encourage people into work, whilst also investing money in training schemes and opportunities. A particular focus of the project will also be to improve the range of work opportunities available for young people.
The Welsh Assembly has identified a total of 7 regeneration areas across the country, and many people originally asked “Why Aberystwyth”? The answer lies in the towns strategic position as the administrative centre of the heart of Wales. It is both a tourist magnet and a job creator steeped in educational and medieval history. The town is an important part of both Welsh culture and history, and in order to promote this culture and history it is important to look after and improve the place at its centre.
The scheme began in April 2010 so has been on going for almost one year, and is expected to last until 2015 in terms of construction projects and it will be a long but exciting wait to see the end results!