Storms delay Barry Island regeneration work

Barry And District News: DELAY: Works is no scheduled to be completed in summer (5253324) DELAY: Works is no scheduled to be completed in summer (5253324)

A £3.3 million development of Barry Island aiming to transform it into the 'the jewel in the crown of South Wales' has suffered delay.

The Barry Regeneration Area funded programme includes improvements to the eastern promenade and Harbour Road causeway, as well as to the Nell’s Point area.

An announcement last November said footpaths around the Island are earmarked for improvement, bus shelters replaced, railings and fencing refurbished, and a new toilet block installed near the eastern shelter.

Work was due to be completed this month, but the Vale Council said recent weather conditions mean the project is most likely to be completed in June.

Speaking in November, the then Welsh Government regeneration Minister Huw Lewis said: "Barry Island has the potential to be the jewel, not just of Barry's crown, but of the whole of South Wales in terms of attracting visitors from the local area and further afield.

"The tourists of today have different needs, and this is why I am pleased that the Vale Council has ambitious plans to redevelop the area into an all-year destination with indoor activities; and that the Regeneration Board has agreed to make Barry Island a priority for 2013-14.

The Welsh Government said the Vale Council had not returned any money to it at the end of the regeneration investment period.

A Vale Council spokesman said the recent bad weather had had an impact on the eastern promenade regeneration work.

He said: “As a result there has been a slight delay. However, we are confident that the work will be completed before the end of June.

“All of the funding that the Council received from Welsh Government has been accounted for and is being used to improve Barry Island.

“The plans for Barry Island have always had a wider remit than just improvements to the eastern promenade. It has always been our intention to improve and enhance facilities towards the western end of the promenade and its surroundings.

“The full programme of regeneration has been funded in part by Welsh Government and in part by the Council.

“The improvements to the eastern promenade include completion of the refurbishment of the shelter, the provision of new toilet facilities, the installation of public art and establishing improved footpaths.

“The works to the western end of the promenade include replacement toilet facilities, re-paving existing footpaths and the creation of a new footpath linking Friar’s Point with the breakwater.”

Vale MP Alun Cairns said: “I was led to believe that it would finally be delivered in May, but suggestions that this could be as late as early summer now are very concerning indeed.

“II have written to the Vale council seeking clarity on the matter. Residents are entitled to ask whether these delays are going to cost the taxpayer money and there are obvious complications when projects like this cross over into a new financial year, particularly from a budgeting point of view.”

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