Council presents ambitious levelling-up bid for Barry
The Vale of Glamorgan Council is to bid for £20m of funding from the UK Government Levelling Up Fund to transform the Barry Docks waterfront.
Shaped by the town’s maritime and industrial history, the bid comprises two key projects which together will form a huge package of investment to continue the regeneration of docks area and the surrounding waterfront.
A new marina at the site known as The Mole is the centrepiece of the plans. The marina would attract visitors and tourists to the town and serve as the catalyst for the next stage of the regeneration of the docks.
As part of this a business incubator aims to grow innovative new businesses in Barry and create local jobs. It will see the development of a commercial model for a co-working innovation space, where meetings and events can be delivered alongside high-level digital skills training.
The incubator will fit post-Covid working patterns which are seeing increasing demand for co-working in collaborative innovation spaces, where people can come together on a regular basis to discuss ideas.
These spaces create opportunities to make introductions with like-minded people and with potential project partners, develop ideas into products and services, as well as develop and scale companies.
The second project of the package is the construction of a new, green, purpose built watersports facility at Barry Waterfront. Designed to boost leisure opportunities and wider community use of the area, the facility would provide a new home for the Ocean Watersports Trust.
This will not only benefit local clubs and organisations but also schools, youth groups, and the general public by giving them access to first class facilities to enjoy the water. The new space would provide meeting rooms, community spaces and classrooms, as well as equipment storage space.
Cllr Lis Burnett, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “This is the most ambitious plan for investment in Barry that has ever been produced. The proposals would transform the old docks area and take Barry Waterfront to another level.
“Most importantly the bid is not just ambitious, it is coherent, deliverable and chimes with our aim to ensure that communities have the facilities and infrastructure they need. The schemes within it have been developed to complement each other in attracting very different types of investment into the town. This will allow Barry to grow while also broadening what it offers to residents, visitors and investors alike.
“We believe that Barry has a strong case for levelling-up funding. We will be making that point loud and clear. This is an investment in communities and jobs, and I truly hope the UK Government can see that as clearly as we all can in the Vale.”
Simon Brown, Divisional Port Manager for ABP Wales and South West, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Barry. We know there is a real desire to see a Marina developed around the Mole and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to turn these plans and ambitions into a reality, creating jobs and attracting further investment along the way.”
Alun Cairns MP said, “This investment will make such a significant difference to the whole of Barry and is part of our commitment to Level Up the UK. The £20 million package of investment is part of my plan for the next step in the regeneration of the town. I am very excited to see these plans come to life which will bring new investment, exciting job opportunities and a brilliant new Marina to the Waterfront!
"My priority is to ensure that these projects act as a catalyst to attract more investment so that everyone in Barry will benefit. This project will be a major boost for the whole of the town. I am determined to ensure that we will connect all parts of Barry to these exciting opportunities. We also need to ensure that traffic management is at the heart of the plan.
“I am optimistic that the bid will be successful and that these ambitious plans will be seen through!”
The UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund is designed to ensure that opportunities are more consistent across the country by offering support to areas that are currently at a disadvantage. The UK Government is seeking single large-scale bids from Local Authorities at short notice in order to support its Levelling up agenda. Money from the fund can be used to finance local schemes, including town centre and high street regeneration, improving transport systems or on projects relating to culture and heritage.
The Council is welcoming comments from residents and other interested parties ahead of finalising its bid for submission. Council representatives will be at Barry Library between Monday 27 June and Weds 29 June from 10.00am – 5:00pm to discuss the bid in person.
More information is available at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/levellingupbid