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Square will be fit for a King

THE VALE of Glamorgan Council have revealed in full their ambitious plans for Barry's derelict King Square site.

Funded by the local authority to a cost of £7.5m over the next two years, the scheme will provide a new state-of-the-art central library for the town, offering modern facilities and the latest in book-lending technology.

It will also incorporate the redesign of the adjacent Central Park, restoring it to its former Victorian glory.

Supported by a Town Improvement Grant from the Welsh Development Agency, the project also includes the creation of a new-look King Square and improve town centre car parking.

The high profile scheme will generate large numbers of visitors to the centre of Barry, creating a healthy spin-off effect for retailers.

And is intended to act as a catalyst for further development in the greater Barry area, and produce the kind of economic gains for the town centre that the development of Waterfront Barry had for the former Barry docks.

Following a series of emergency repairs which were carried out at the end of last year, the first phase of the major works will consist of repairs and replacement of the roof, floors, walls and windows.

An agreement with the transport operators has led to the temporary repositioning of the bus stops and shelters from Tynewydd Road to a nearby spot in Holton Road.

The work is being undertaken by John Weaver Construction, and will involve the removal of the old fountains and the creation of a designated area for the continued operation of the weekly town market.

Welcoming the start of work, Council leader Cllr Jeffrey James said: "I think it's fair to say that, for many reasons, successive councils have failed to grasp the nettle in relation to this major redevelopment scheme but we are now looking forward to delivering this major boost for Barry over the next couple of years."

It is hoped that the first phase of the works will be completed by November, with the start of the main phase, including the work on the library, park and square, scheduled for the early part of 2004.

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