Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy & Transport
Dafydd Ellis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism
As the current Valleys Taskforce programme draws to an end after five years, there is a need for the outputs to go well beyond this term of government. There is no denying that more needs to be done to tackle some of the deep rooted issues that continue to be faced by the communities within the South Wales Valleys and a focus on the further regeneration and development of this area is welcomed.
Therefore, the Welsh Government is further investing in the future strategic development of the Heads of the Valleys through our contribution to the twenty year ambitious heritage regeneration ‘Crucible Project’. The Valleys Taskforce contributed an initial £80,000 to an archival study to help create the blueprint for this landmark project. The aim of the project is to celebrate and heal the natural and post-industrial environment to provide a beautiful setting for recreation, whilst harnessing the potential for tourism.
The Valleys Taskforce has now provided an additional £1.2m to this important project as it progresses into the next stage and starts the implementation of the Cyfarthfa Plan, a visionary and multi-layered strategic plan for the Cyfarthfa heritage area, Merthyr Tydfil and beyond, to be implemented over the next twenty years. The Project – one of local, regional and national significance - may take two decades to realise in full, but it is clear the initial phase covering the first five years will be crucial to the project’s success and momentum.
The outputs from the Project will help to improve the economic wellbeing of Merthyr and the wider Heads of the Valleys region, delivering economic growth with benefits for people and places, including environmental sustainability, social and cultural enrichment and health benefits. As part of the development of the Valleys Regional Park, Cyfarthfa Park was also designated as one of our Discovery Sites, acting as a gateway to our green spaces across the Valleys.
The project is supported across the Welsh Government and will have positive impacts on regional economic development, regeneration, culture, tourism and heritage. The Welsh Government will continue to work collaboratively with the Cyfarthfa Foundation and its partner organisations in the future to aid successful delivery and access to funding.