NEARLY £8 million will be invested in one of the most deprived areas of Gwent to fight anti-social behaviour and crime.

Newport City Homes will be investing £7.9 million in the Pill area of Newport as part of a regeneration scheme.

One of the project’s main aims is to fight anti-social behaviour and crime in the area by removing underpasses and replacing alleyways with clear and open footpaths on sites they own.

Newport City Homes board chair Jane Mudd said: “This is wonderful news and makes us one step closer to completing our vision for Pillgwenlly.

“These ambitious plans are a result of a dedicated group of residents, retailers and the wider community working with us to understand the unique and diverse needs of their community.

“We understand the challenges that this community faces. However, we are confident that with the support of the local community, this project will help tackle anti-social behaviour and make a real difference to those living in the area.”

Rachel George, head of development and regeneration for Newport City Homes, said they will remove alleyways and underpasses to open up enclosed spaces and create better access for cars and pedestrians throughout the estate.

She said: “This will also limit opportunities for anti-social behaviour, help people feel more safe and better connect the regeneration area to the wider community.

“The basketball court on Francis Drive, which is often the target of anti-social behaviour, will be removed and replaced with a community space that will cater to the needs of the wider community.”

In the project’s masterplan, which sets out a range of environmental improvements, says new roads and pedestrian links will be created in a number of locations.

It also says they would like to open up streets to make it more difficult for people to hang around, commit anti-social behaviour and crime while making residents feel safer.

Ms George said: “The plans will see garages in Coulson Close, Francis Street and Alma Street demolished to provide parking courtyards.

“A further £2 million will be invested in homes in the area to ensure they meet Welsh Government housing standards.”

Planning permission for the scheme was approved in January 2016 and work is expected to start on site in the summer.

See the panel on the right for details of the planned works.