FIRST MINISTER OFFICIALLY OPENS MULTI-MILLION POUND ROAD TO REGENERATION IN PORT TALBOT
Today (18 October 2013), First Minister, Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones AM, officially opened Harbour Way – one of the largest local authority transport projects to be supported by the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) convergence programme in Wales and a new chapter in the regeneration of Port Talbot.
The First Minister said:
“This project is a leading light in terms of local job creation and economic regeneration and highlights the benefits of Welsh Government and European Union financial support on the lives of local residents. With Harbour Way now complete, and a further £9.5m of Welsh Government funding for the re-development of Port Talbot Parkway train station, robust infrastructure links will soon be in place to attract further investment to the region to transform the area into a vibrant, well connected place to live, work and do business for many years to come.”
Harbour Way is the fourth and final section of the Port Talbot Peripheral Distributor Road (PDR) – a strategic road, delivered in stages*, to improve the links between the A48 at Margam / M4 Junction 38 and breathe new economic life into the Port Talbot docks area. This £107m three year project has been managed and delivered by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council in partnership with awarding winning lead construction contractor, Costain**.
Harbour Way will significantly improve access to Harbourside – Port Talbot’s multi million pound re-development of 150 acres of the town’s former docks quarter to transform the area into a new knowledge focused business hub, creating hundreds of skilled jobs. Plans are also in place for further development phases of the wider Harbourside Park development as the overall site has the capacity to accommodate an additional 75,000 sq ft of space with a potential investment of over £12m and creation of a further 700 new jobs. Proposals are also in the pipeline for a future residential and leisure offering which will sit adjacent to the dockside and river corridor.
Cllr Ali Thomas, Leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, said:
“The completion of Harbour Way is a significant development both for the town of Port Talbot and for the County Borough as a whole. By linking key employment sites and opening up land for development along the waterfront, the project will present numerous opportunities for growth and regeneration. The economic benefits will be far-reaching and indeed this investment is already beginning to pay dividends.
“The project has been notable for the level of collaboration between all parties. I would particularly like to thank Costain and commend its commitment to both partnership working and to maximising the benefits of the project to local people and businesses.”
The three year construction phase has also been instrumental in providing local supply chain and skilled training and job opportunities in the Port Talbot area managed by lead contractor, Costain. Over £40m worth of work (90% of which was awarded to businesses in Wales) was sub-contracted through bespoke ‘Meet the Buyer’ events hosted by Costain to introduce local suppliers to the project. 41 local residents have secured sustainable jobs on the Harbour Way construction project and local schools and university students have benefited from over 50 weeks of work experience over the project lifetime.
Darren James, managing director, infrastructure at Costain, explained:
“With a project of this scale it is vital that local talent, as well as goods and services, are sourced and used. It not only boosts the local economy but also encourages local people to feel involved in and take ownership of the landmark. We have worked closely with Neath Port Talbot Council’s Workways team throughout to help local unemployed people back into work, to provide apprenticeships, develop skills and establish new supply chains to ensure as much material as possible was sourced locally or recycled within the scheme.”