Alun Davies AM, Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services
Further to the publication of the Valleys Regional Park prospectus in October and my Oral Statement on the Our Valleys, Our Future Delivery Plan on 27th November, I can now announce that Ynysangharad War Memorial Park (Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC) , Parc Bryn Bach (Blaenau Gwent CBC) and Parc Slip Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre (Bridgend CBC/Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales) will also be developed as Discovery Gateway sites, with Parc Slip Nature Reserve and Wildlife Visitor Centre, working closely with Bryngarw Country Park, as a regional gateway for the Ogmore, Garw and Llynfi Valleys.
I have already announced Dare Valley Country Park, Caerphilly Castle, Cwmcarn Forest, Blaenavon World Heritage Visitor Centre, Cyfarthfa Park and Bryngarw Country Park as Discovery Gateways.
In addition, work is continuing with Neath Port Talbot and Caerphilly County Borough Councils to develop plans for a further two Discovery Gateways in their areas. I also want to explore further options for a site in the upper Swansea Valley.
Over the coming months officials will work with the Valleys local authorities and the site operators to assess the strength and weaknesses of each of the sites with a view to putting in place development plans. These will deliver improvements to provide consistently high quality facilities and to strengthen the visitor experience for the people of the Valleys and visitors to the Valleys, as well as improving the iconic trails that join up the Valleys. These plans will be supported by the £7m of capital funding, over two years, which the Cabinet Secretary for Finance announced in the draft Budget 2019-20.
These sites are well located across the Valleys, will tell the stories of the Valleys and will work together to connect the Valleys as a region. The Discovery Gateways will use our rich cultural and industrial heritage to encourage people to be more active and to explore the beautiful Valleys landscapes.