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New funding for Pembroke regeneration scheme welcomed

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Pembrokeshire County Council has been successful in its bid to the UK Government Levelling Up Fund for its regeneration project at South Quay in Pembroke.

This £4.1million LUF award will enable the Council to develop a second phase of its South Quay plans.

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Rachel Moxey, the council’s Head of Economic Development and Regeneration said: “The announcement has given us a welcome opportunity for a progress update on phase 1, and to share our plans for phase 2 of the project,”

As part of its wider regeneration work across Pembrokeshire, the County Council embarked on an ambitious programme earlier this year to redevelop the historic and prominent South Quay site next to Pembroke Castle.

The work involves the restoration and re-use of three dilapidated Grade II listed buildings on the site, as well as enhancing the surrounding environment and improving access between the town centre, castle and the waterfront.

The first phase of work aims to create a new attraction celebrating the town’s legacy as the birthplace of the Tudor dynasty. The second phase will provide a new community hub for social care, continued education and supported employment. Together, the developments will provide a diverse and sustainable mix of new uses in the town.

The first phase of works is taking place at numbers 4, 5 and 6 Castle Terrace (the road between Pembroke Castle and the junction to Main Street).

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The scheme will provide a new Henry Tudor visitor centre, library and café; landscaping of the medieval ‘burgage’ gardens to provide tranquil and restful areas in the historic heart of the town as well as what the council describe as “major improvements to the public realm”.

Steve Jardine, the council’s Regeneration Manager said: “We were under no illusions that this was a very complex scheme, and as is often the case with such projects, a number of challenging issues have arisen as the preparatory works continue.”

Issues have included a roof collapse and clearance of contaminated debris, providing additional support to the existing structure and designing for additional demolition works identified during the enabling stage.

Recent work has included providing a protection system to the vaulted medieval cellars of No.4 Castle Terrace and strengthening the property at basement level, to allow for a safer working area within the front third of the building.

The next stage will attempt to make the building safer, in order to allow further investigation and inspection works to finalise the design of the regeneration scheme. This will include the installation of scaffolding to support the front façade during demolition of some of the walls.

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A revised timeline will see the remaining demolition and re-build completed by the end of August next year, followed immediately by the start of the construction of the new heritage centre, café and library, with completion planned for early 2024.

In common with many other schemes taking place at the current time, Brexit and the unforeseen impact of Covid have created time and financial implications for the project. The Council is nonetheless committed to staying on track to deliver on the overall scheme as an essential element of its strategy to breathe new life into Pembrokeshire’s towns.

Phase 1 has benefited from Welsh Government ‘Transforming Towns’ funding and investment from Pembrokeshire County Council.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said: “Repurposing and transforming our key town centres is one of the core elements of our economic development strategy. We are committed to regenerating the South Quay site into an attractive, sustainable and thriving development, of which Pembroke and Pembrokeshire will be very proud.”

The second phase of development involves the completion of South Quay’s regeneration scheme and is centred on numbers 7 and 8 Northgate Street.

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It will provide a community hub over three storeys, including a space for day opportunities , space for digital media, art and heritage craft activities, and learning and skills areas to support independent living for people of all ages

It was also feature environmental enhancements, including the restoration of the buildings, a new sunken garden and improvements to the parking area at South Quay, along with improved access between the Henry Tudor visitor centre and the waterfront

The development would enable the consolidation of adult social care in South Pembrokeshire, providing a modern, better-integrated, community focussed and more sustainable, inclusive day opportunities model in the heart of the town, and yielding savings to the public sector through the closure of existing, poorer quality facilities.

It will also support employment opportunities, which will be integrated within the operation of the new facility.

Jason Bennett, Head of Adult Social Care, said: “This innovative project is representative of our ambition to modernise social care, by offering inclusive services in the heart of our communities, helping people and families remain connected to their local area.”

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Cabinet member for Social Care, Cllr Tessa Hodgson said it was ‘fantastic to see this substantial investment in Pembroke’. 

“South Quay is a really innovative scheme designed to benefit all members of the community and is a result of the ambition and drive of Cabinet and the hard work and vision of the regeneration and social care teams at Pembrokeshire County Council,” she said.

Cllr Aaron Carey, County Councillor for Pembroke St Mary South which includes the South Quay site, added: “By introducing an additional offering to the town we can move towards our full potential and offer people, local and visitors alike, reasons to stay in our beautiful town for longer.”

(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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