Cwmbran, Wales' first new town, has grown into 'a Welsh new town success story'. Over 50 years it has developed into one of the largest pedestrianised shopping centres in South Wales. With a population in excess of 47,000, it is the biggest centre of population and commerce in Torfaen.
Cwmbran covers an area of about 3,160 acres and is made up of seven residential neighbourhoods and a town centre. The planners were keen to promote a sense of community, so each neighbourhood was designed with its own shops, schools and other facilities.
All the roads in the development were designed with safety in mind, and conform to a grid pattern, similar to other new towns such as Milton Keynes. The Congress Theatre and Bandstand can be found in one of the squares. Older buildings include Llantarnam Grange, now an arts centre and the Green House, an old inn at Llantarnam, can still be found.
The 650,000 sq ft Cwmbran town centre is privately run, and was upgraded in the mid-nineties. The town centre attracts shoppers from a catchment area of 220,000 people living within 15 minutes drive.
Cwmbran is a thriving industrial and commercial centre and has attracted inward investment from many major and small companies at its business parks and industrial estates.
There are many attractions within easy reach of Cwmbran, including Blaenavon Ironworks, recently made a World Heritage site by UNESCO, Greenmeadow Community Farm and Big Pit Mining Museum. There are excellent Leisure and Sports facilities throughout the County Borough.
Acknowledgements: Shire County Guide - Anna Tucker Gwent County Council Guide, 1992