Rhondda Cynon Taf’s firm has received an update on Council’s plan to bid for further funding from UK Leveling Up – and agreed that an improved application relating to the former Mayhew Chicken Factory site will be resubmitted.
A report to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, June 22, recommended that the project be submitted for the second round of the Leveling Fund, with the deadline for submitting projects to the UK government being July 6. Proposals for the Trecynon site will leverage resources available for the Cynon Valley parliamentary constituency in Round 2 of the Fund.
Priority areas considered by the Fund include transport, town centers and regeneration, and cultural investment. Local authorities lead the bids for their respective areas, with the total number of bids they can submit being determined by the parliamentary constituencies within their boundaries.
The Council submitted four bids in the Fund’s first round in July 2021 – for the Porth Transport Hub (Rhondda constituency), the Mayhew Chicken Factory site in Trecynon (Cynon Valley) and the Muni Arts Center (Pontypridd), as well as an additional transport-based offer for the A4119 duplication scheme. The Mayhew Chicken Factory site in Trecynon was the only unsuccessful bid, with the other three projects currently underway.
Wednesday’s Cabinet report recommended that Council resubmit this bid in the second round for the constituency of Cynon Valley – adding that a relatively well-developed scheme would have a better chance than a new scheme of meeting the requirements of the Funds including that work is to start on site in 2022/23.
Detailed comments were received from the UK government on the first-round bid – and the Council has since developed the proposal. The Cabinet report adds that he is now seen as a stronger bid with a greater chance of success in the second round.
The Chicken Factory site was purchased by the Council as a key redevelopment opportunity. The derelict land is easily accessible from the A4059 and is close to the A465, which is currently being converted into a dual carriageway to Hirwaun. The proposal is for a mixed-use development comprising modern light industrial units and park and ride facilities for the possible future extension of the railway line beyond Aberdare via the South Wales Underground. It would include electric vehicle charging stations and an active travel bridge.
The proposed development would provide 18 high quality Grade A commercial accommodation for growing small businesses – with the potential to create over 50 local jobs. Three of the units are being designed as a pilot project, to meet net zero carbon standards in their construction and use.
On Wednesday, the Cabinet agreed to advance the development of a project application for the former Chicken Factory site, to be submitted by the July 6 deadline. The UK government intends to announce the outcome of the second round bids, following a three-stage evaluation process, in autumn 2022.
Councilor Mark Norris, Cabinet Member of the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council for Development and Prosperity, said: ‘I am pleased that Cabinet has supported the officers’ recommendations to resubmit an improved application to the Cynon Valley Constituency Upgrade Fund. I am confident that the new bid for the Chicken Factory site will be a strong bid – to revitalize a strategic site in an area of regional importance, while addressing the lack of modern units to support the growth of small and medium sized businesses.
“Independent business councils have shown that there is a growing demand for this type of business accommodation locally, and the Council’s proposals have the potential to create 50 local jobs. The development would aim to achieve net zero carbon in the operation of some of the units, while the Council has gained invaluable recent experience in carrying out similar developments in Coed Ely and Robertstown. The plans would also help the proposed delivery of the South Wales Metro, which proposes to extend passenger rail beyond Aberdare in the future.
“Council is currently consulting with residents on these plans, giving the public an opportunity to share their views on the site and give feedback on what is proposed. I urge residents, if they haven’t already, to commit to the process and participate before the July 1 deadline. You can find out more on the Council’s Let’s Talk engagement website.
“Following Cabinet’s decision to support the Leveling Up funding application, officers will now further develop the proposal and ensure it is ready to be submitted by the deadline, for consideration by the UK Government.”