Posted inUncategorized

Projects in Torfaen to benefit from £1.2 million Covid-19 recovery fund

A SERIES of projects in Torfaen are set to benefit from a £1.2 million council fund which aims to help communities recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The reserve was created by Torfaen council at the end of the last financial year to help alleviate some of the impacts of the pandemic on the borough.

Senior councillors agreed the projects which would benefit from the funding at a meeting on Tuesday. Out of the fund, £466,000 will be spent on a series of town centre enhancements for Pontypool and Blaenavon, to improve the appearance of the towns and help attract long-term investment.

Two new play areas with inclusive play equipment are planned at Pontypool Park and Cwmbran Boating Lake, with the council allocating £259,365 for the project. An audit found the borough is lacking in provision of suitable play equipment for children with disabilities.

A further £200,000 will be allocated to the discretionary housing benefits budget to help people impacted by rises in the costs of living and the ending of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit.

Repairs will be carried out on Folly Tower and Shell Grotto in Pontypool to enable their reopening in a scheme costing £70,000.

An emphasis has also been placed on supporting people to enjoy exercise and the natural environment following Covid-19 lockdowns.

A feasibility study will be funded into the provision of a 3G pitch and lighting at Abersychan School, which would be available to the community on evenings and at weekends.

Funding of £30,000 has been allocated for canal improvements, such as new bins, signage and improving accessiblity.

Money has also been set aside to provide grants for businesses, focussing on digital improvements, and £40,000 will be awarded to increase the amount of free counselling support available for people aged seven-19.

Funding for organisations to provide mental health first aid training will also be provided.

Council leader, Cllr Anthony Hunt said the authority considered the different impacts of the pandemic in allocating the fund, including economic and other changes which have resulted.

“We thought it was very important to put this money towards key projects to help the borough recover and rebuild,” he said.

Cllr Jo Gauden said she was particularly pleased to see funding for new inclusive play equipment in the borough
“I’m sure parents of little ones with learning disabilities will welcome this,” she said.

Posted inNews

Projects in Torfaen to benefit from £1.2 million Covid-19 recovery fund

Boats on a lake