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Neath Port Talbot tourist attractions prepare for dramatic campaign

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A new tourism campaign fronted by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (NPTCBC) is being launched this month. The Dramatic Heart of Wales campaign is hoping to attract tourists to the area for overnight stays towards the end of 2021 and into 2022.

The campaign will highlight the rich natural beauty, world-class adventure activities and unique heritage that can be found within Neath Port Talbot – ‘The Dramatic Heart of Wales’. Tourism providers were invited to join together to offer tailored experiences that will appeal to a range of travellers from individuals, families, thrill-seekers and those looking for a slower-paced break.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the last 18 months has been incredibly challenging for tourism providers. However, the tourism sector in Neath Port Talbot has risen to the immense challenges they have faced by adapting their services and carefully re-opening to the public this summer. The Council’s aim is that the new Dramatic Heart of Wales campaign will showcase all that Neath Port Talbot offers to potential visitors

More than 20 tourism businesses in Neath Port Talbot are involved in the campaign and have brought together experiences which provide inspiration to travellers considering a break in the area. The operators range from hotels and holiday cottages through to adventure sport providers and historical properties.

WATCH: Neath Port Talbot’s new tourism campaign launch video

Cllr Leanne Jones, Deputy Leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council comments: “This ambitious project has been two years in the planning process and we’re excited to launch the new campaign. When looking at a map of the south coast of Wales, Neath Port Talbot is the central point and the beating heart of the region. We’re well known for our heavy industry, but this contrasts dramatically with our epic coastline and our wealth of forests and parks. Some of the world’s most well-respected actors also hail from this area and we felt that the ‘Dramatic Heart’ was an apt way to describe everything that we can offer tourists to the area.

“Through this campaign we want to attract people who may not have previously considered a short break in Neath Port Talbot. Rather than passing us by on their way to West Wales, we want to encourage all types of tourists to explore the area and take in its natural beauty.

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“I have been immensely proud of the resilience shown by the tourism sector locally when faced with the pandemic, we want to support tourism businesses in the area in a responsible way and we feel that with our wealth of outdoor spaces, visitors can feel confident and safe when enjoying a mini-break in Neath Port Talbot.”

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In line with current trends, the experiences have been tailored to give travellers mini-break options that include accommodation and activity options. To encourage overnight stays and to appeal to a broad audience, the experiences are themed around mountain biking, walking, heritage and adventure.

As part of the campaign, visitors are also being encouraged to get behind the Visit Wales Addo campaign which is encouraging a safe return to tourism and hospitality for both visitors and businesses. Addo means ‘to promise’ in Welsh, and visitors are being asked to make a collective promise to care for each other, for the epic landscape and for the communities they visit.

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council secured funding for this project via the Visit Wales Regional Tourism Engagement Fund (RTEF). RTEF is supported through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and Welsh Government.

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The campaign website can be found at www.dramaticheart.wales

Lead image: Cllr Leanne Jones and the ‘dramatic heart’ sand art (Image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

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Environment

Flash flooding as heatwave breaks and Met Office issues thunderstorm warning

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Flash Flooding in Port Talbot

Parts of Port Talbot town centre were underwater today as torrential rain led to flash flooding as the heatwave came to a dramatic end.

The images captured by local, Jim Jones showed cars struggling to pass through flooded streets outside the art-deco former Plaza Cinema on Talbot Road.

The M4 was also waterlogged causing poor driving conditions between junctions 37 and 38 for Pyle and Margam.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for slow moving thunderstorms that could cause further disruption, including flooding.

A map tweeted by the Met Office appears to show the worst of the storms heading towards Swansea.

The Waterstones book store on Swansea’s Oxford Street was forced to close as water poured into the building from the roof.

(Lead image: Jim Jones)

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Neath Port Talbot

Mountain rescue teams called to aid of man who jumped off Neath Valley waterfall and suffered spinal injuries

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Mountain rescue teams and coastguard helicopters were scrambled to help a man who jumped off Sgwd Gwladus waterfalls near Glynneath on Saturday (13 August).

The man, who received suspected broken legs and spinal injuries was airlifted to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

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The Western Beacons Mountain Rescue Team said: “We were requested to respond to Sgwd Gladys near Pontneddfechan to a male who had jumped of the fall and broken his legs and had possible spinal injuries.

“With the severity of the incident we requested assistance from our neighbouring team Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team and helicopter from Maritime and Coastguard Agency rescue 187.

“Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service – EMRTS Wales helicopter was also in attendance.

“The casualty was packaged in a vacuum mattress and then winched from the scene for transport to UHW Cardiff for treatment.

“We wish the casualty a speedy recovery.”

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Mountain Rescue Teams prepare to assist the injured man (Image: Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team)
Helicopter winches the injured man off the waterfalls (Image: Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team)
Mountain Rescue Teams went to the aid of a man who jumped off a waterfall seriously injuring himself (Image: Western Beacons Mountain Rescue)

(Lead image: Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team)

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Environment

Fly tipper caught on hidden camera claimed he was leaving waste to move later

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A man caught dumping waste by hidden cameras at a fly tipping hotspot by Neath Port Talbot Council enforcement officers has been fined.

James Steven Daniel Gilheaney, 20, of Cae Garw, Kenfig Hill, Pyle, had pleaded not guilty at Swansea Magistrates Court before his trial on August 9th to illegally depositing controlled waste on land at Cae Garw Farm in February this year.

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The dumped waste included flooring, insulation, rugs, a settee, glass patio doors and a cable and monitor.

Mr Gilheaney claimed he had been asked to ‘leave’ the waste at the location and to move it later.

At the conclusion of the trial, where still images and video footage from the cameras was shown, the District Judge said he found the defendant’s account incredible, before delivering his guilty verdict and sentencing Mr Gilheaney to a 12 month community order with 120 hours unpaid work, a £95 victim surcharge and £500 towards prosecution costs.

The District Judge also ordered the forfeiture of the transit van used to commit the offence and additionally disqualified Mr Gilheaney from driving for 12 months.

The court heard that cameras were placed in the area near Cae Garw, known to be used regularly for dumping waste, which was often then set alight.  When the recorded footage was later examined, officers identified Mr Gilheaney depositing the waste from the vehicle.

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Cllr Scott Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene, said: “I’d like to thank our officers for their painstaking work in this case. Fly-tipping is illegal and seriously damages our environment which is why I would appeal to anyone who sees fly-tipping to report it.”

Terri Harrison, a Dyfed Powys Police Sergeant, seconded to the Arson Reduction team Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service added, “Waste crime is a real challenge for MAWWFRS and partner agencies.  Every year there are reports of hundreds of refuse fires and we see a very clear and obvious link between refuse fires and fly tipping. 

“Waste crime has a real adverse impact on the quality of life for those affected by the illegal activities.  It damages our environment, community and economy. Positive outcomes such as this send a clear message that we all work closely together and these activities will not be tolerated.”

(Lead image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

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