At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Place scrutiny committee on Tuesday, March 14 councillors debated the merits of the Brynmawr Placemaking Plan.

This is a blueprint for the town’s future prosperity and highlights a number of areas and schemes that could help achieve this.

The report said: “The primary focus of the plan is to inform and influence strategic decision making for regeneration activity in the town and act as an evidence base to support the council with future external funding options and support development of the replacement Local Development Plan (LDP).”

Cllr Sonia Behr claimed that, the “most successful town centres have” permanent pedestrian areas. She further added that she wanted to see active travel plans that promote walking and cycling worked on quickly so as to take advantage of government funding for these schemes.

In regards to this, Cllr Jules Gardner said: “I met with businesses in the town centre in the last few weeks, Tutta Bella, the furniture store, the local deli, the shoe repair business and others, and there’s very little appetite for pedestrianisation of that area.

“What they have asked for specifically for is and they are looking to put a petition together for, is extra parking.”

Cllr Gardner responded that the group had already identified a site that could be turned into a car park.

Business and regeneration service manager, Owen Ashton said: “That’s part of the wider consultation we need to undertake with businesses and wider stakeholders.

“There’s various opinions out there and the challenge for us as an authority is to introduce measures that improve and support the town.”

He added that it would be part of “further work” and assessments for the plan.

Committee chairman, Malcolm Cross said: “I get a bit of a buzz now that the Heads of the Valley (road) is pretty much completed.

“There’s no reason why Brynmawr can’t become a real growth area and raise the profile of Blaenau Gwent, it’s not half as bad as people make out and that really annoys me.”

Within the draft plan are a number of possible projects have been identified to support the council in transforming the town and function as catalysts for regeneration.

These include:

  • Stagecoach site.
  • Beaufort Street.
  • The Grade II listed Boiler House.
  • Market Square and bus station.
  • Active Travel routes.
  • Improved pedestrian links between Lakeside and the town centre.
  • Environmental enhancements.
  • Introduction of public art.