The announcement of a £30m UK Government contribution to a planned rail testing complex between Neath Port Talbot and Powys has been welcomed by the councils covering the two areas.
The announcement of the funding award in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget speech was described as a major step forward for the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) project by the Leader of Powys County Council, Cllr Rosemarie Harris and Neath Port Talbot Council’s Leader, Cllr Rob Jones.
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Rob Jones, said: “Neath Port Talbot Council, the Welsh Government and Powys County Council have worked hard with partners in the private sector to drive this project forward and we warmly welcome this strong financial backing.
“If finally approved, the Global Centre of Rail Excellence will create a world leading facility for research, development and testing of rail technology here in South-West Wales.
“It will offer a substantial opportunity for economic growth in the South Wales valleys and throughout Neath Port Talbot and will also provide a major boost for high quality long-term jobs as well as building work in the construction phase.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Welsh Government and our other partners as this ambitious business case is brought to life.”
The Leader of Powys County Council, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, said: “I’m delighted that the UK Government will provide significant funding for the innovative project, which will provide part of the financial support package to enable this important project at the Powys border to commence.
“This is an exciting project and we will continue to work in collaboration with the Welsh Government and our neighbours Neath Port Talbot Council to progress this project so that the region can gain the full economic benefits this unique opportunity will bring.”
The Welsh Government has estimated the GCRE project will cost about £157m, and the Treasury says it will now “match fund” up to £30m with the remainder coming from Welsh Government and private sector investment.
The GCRE is to be located at the former opencast mine at Nant Helen (preferred site for the test track) and a nearby coal washery at Onllywn – covering both the local authority areas of Powys and Neath Port Talbot councils.
It is designed to showcase Wales as a hub for research and development and leading low-carbon rail technology.
The idea is the facility will support UK train manufacturers with the capacity and capability for rigorous testing of rolling stock and rail infrastructure, from prototype to implementation.
Welsh Government calls on more people to host Ukrainians in their homes
Council describes 10 year-old Leon as ‘Environment Hero’ for Whitland litter picks
How one woman’s tragic loss helped save a child given just hours to live
Children’s hospice say they’re determined to keep doors open despite energy crisis
Council announces nearly 90 projects to tackle post-pandemic cost of living crisis
Free ‘Grow How’ session to help gardeners make the most of autumn gardening
Llanelli Half Marathon: Running on a high
Strictly Come Dancing: Ellie Simmonds talks first dances, fake tan and facing off for Glitterball glory
Cleaner water linked with smaller cockles that die younger, research on Burry Inlet reveals
West Wales women up for awards in leading Welsh ceremony
Bus drivers set to walk out in First Cymru pay dispute
From stamps and coins to passports and police helmets: What will change following the death of the Queen
Gorseinon pub overlooking rugby and cricket club could become flats
Smoke seen for miles as former Cinderella nightclub on Mumbles Pier catches fire
Council suspends non-essential services on September 19
Pembrokeshire crowds ready to welcome 10th IRONMAN Wales
Plans for apartments on former Neath Workingmen’s Club site
Tributes paid to HM Queen Elizabeth II as communities prepare mourning arrangements
Transport strikes postponed following Monarch’s death
28 year-old Port Talbot stroke survivor takes on mountain climb after learning to walk again
Bridgend5 days ago
Bus strikes back on after Queen’s funeral postponement
Bridgend4 days ago
Bus strike cancelled after First Cymru and unions come to agreement
Motoring7 days ago
Coastguard release dramatic pictures of car after it falls off cliff at Mumbles car park
Llanelli6 days ago
Everything you need to know ahead of the M&D Care Llanelli Half Marathon
South Wales Police6 days ago
Police want to speak with this man after assault in Uplands
Cardiff Airport7 days ago
Cardiff Airport restarts Italian flights and gets new direct Romanian destination
Business7 days ago
TUI Invests in team with help of Gower College Swansea
Environment5 days ago
Trecco Bay Holiday Park takes part in Great British Beach Clean