PONTYPOOL town centre will get a new car park after the Torfaen council cabinet gave its approval today.

The 200 car capacity building will be built on the former Gas Board site on Clarence Corner which covers 1.65 acres.

Speaking at the cabinet meeting the Council Deputy Leader Cllr Lewis Jones said: "Everyone’s a winner. People working in the town can park there for the day, freeing up the short term spaces, which will hopefully increase footfall into the town as people can park easily."

The project will cost over £500,000 to build, with £420,000 from Heads of the Valley Funding and £90,000 from Pontypool Regeneration Partnership, with the purchase of the land costing £100,000.

Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle said: "Getting the funding needed took real teamwork, and I'm really pleased that it has paid off. It was clear from the start that Lewis Jones, John Marshall and John Killick were determined to work with me to help find a way to deliver a much-needed car park, so we met with the Minister at the Assembly.

"I've spoken to lots of local traders over a number of years about their concerns about the lack of spaces, so hopefully this will boost their trade and help reinvigorate the whole town. This shows what can be achieved by taking a team approach."

Plans for the car park were driven by a transportation review of the town centre in 2008 that identified that there was little spare capacity for parking.

Following the closure of County Hall and the relocation of some council staff to Pearl House on Hanbury Road, and the Civic Centre, this increased the pressure to increase car parking facilities.

Trader Mark Gregory, of the Bread of Heaven cafe, said: "Parking is a huge issue in Pontypool and as traders it is an issue that our shoppers are constantly bringing to our attention.

"I hope all goes to plan and that the car park is ready for the when the regeneration works come to an end – we look forward to welcoming shoppers to a better public space."

MP Paul Murphy added: "This is excellent news for Pontypool town centre - I'm sure it will have a positive impact for local traders an the town as a whole.

"It's something all of us who represent Pontypool have long been calling for. Well done to all those who helped make it happen."