Big tourism and business plans for Glynneath
AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled to breathe new life into Glynneath and the upper Neath Valley.
Regeneration chiefs have come up with a blueprint of the future, which would see Glynneath become a destination for tourists visiting the nearby Brecon Beacons and Waterfall Country.
They also want to establish Glynneath as a "model sustainable town" offering a high quality of life — drawing together environment, community, energy, retail, employment and retail elements to fully realise its potential.
Council strategic development manager Andrew Collins said: "We forget that Glynneath is right at the foot of the Brecon Beacons and the gateway to Waterfall Country.
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"The Neath Valley has more waterfalls per square metre that anywhere else in Europe.
"We would like to take advantage of that if we can, and hopefully Glynneath will feel the benefit."
Included in the masterplan are physical improvements to the town centre, to make it more pedestrian-friendly and create an attractive and vibrant environment and a hub for visitors. A similar scheme is proposed for neighbouring Cwmgwrach.
A community campus, involving residential use and community facilities, is proposed next to the Welfare Ground, while Glynneath Village Workshops, now in full use, could be expanded.
Meanwhile a 25-acre site at Park Avenue has been identified as having residential and commercial potential.
Neath Port Talbot also wants to see Glynneath Business Park, where the town's new primary care centre and an elderly care home will be built, further developed.
Mr Collins said: "Adopting the regeneration strategy and masterplan will allow us to move forward and try to secure whatever funding we can to bring it to fruition."
Seven Sisters councillor Steve Hunt told the economic and community regeneration scrutiny committee there was potential to link Glynneath with the Dulais Valley.
Mr Collins said: "We have to focus on a town or area, but it's part of a holistic strategy for the borough.
"We don't only have links with the Dulais Valley but on the other side of the mountain is the Afan Valley, and the fantastic work that has been done there with mountain biking."
Mr Collins also referred to the tourism and leisure proposals at the Neath Valley's Rheola Estate.
"It all forms part of a wider strategy for the whole of the area," he added.
"We are also only half an hour away from the Gower and other fantastic attractions."