New Port Talbot College campus will send out right message to potential investors
A NEW college campus for Port Talbot will send out the right message to other potential investors in the town.
Council chiefs are nurturing plans for the regeneration of the docks area as well as the town centre.
The completion of the £107 million Harbour Way dual carriageway later this year will open up vast areas of land for development.
The long-awaited overhaul of Port Talbot Parkway railway station will provide an important gateway.
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Work has already started on a new research and development centre that could create 170 jobs.
The docks area is already home to the town's justice centre. And last year it was revealed that Neath Port Talbot College also wanted to build a new campus there.
It would replace the existing Afan campus at Margam, which is outdated and has parking and other problems.
Now the college has confirmed work could start in 2016, subject to funding.
It is working with architects on an outline planning application, which will be submitted soon.
Neath Port Talbot Council's deputy leader Peter Rees has welcomed the prospect of a new college campus.
"The development of that part of Port Talbot will not only be good for the town but good for the county as a whole," said Mr Rees.
"With the research and development centre and the railway station upgrade we are now seeing that development start to happen. It is going to be a real hub of activity.
"It sends out a really positive message to other potential investors.
"In these times of financial constraint and austerity, that can only be good for Port Talbot and the county."
College principal Mark Dacey said: "Basically it will be a 21st century setting for 21st century education.
"It will be an exemplar, setting the standard for education in Wales."
Mr Dacey added: "There will be hundreds of students passing through and visiting the town centre daily.
"It will have a positive impact on economic reform plans that the local authority has for that area."