THIS is what the £2.3m mechanical link between Ebbw Vale town centre and The Works site will look like.

Blaenau Gwent council says plans are moving forward to develop the link part of the town centre regeneration works.

It has released new images of the plans and says the mechanical link will be a 'modern, urban transport system' providing easy and efficient access to and from the north-eastern periphery of The Works site to Ebbw Vale Town Centre.

But some residents in Blaenau Gwent have questioned the council's decision to spend £2.3m on the mechanical lift while cutting jobs and services to address its £10m deficit.

At a meeting of the council in September, members were given an update on the design and installation of the link, which will cost £2,368,500 to create plus £16,366 to run every year.

At the time, Brynmawr town councillor Terry Hughes said: “If Blaenau Gwent can get hold of £2.5m, it would be worth spending it on getting a better standard of living for the people.

"People are really suffering . I know people who have to get their food from foodbanks, decent people who can’t afford to live. With the situation of job losses and closures, I think they are dodging their responsibilities to be honest.”

The mechanical lift will be located between the main square at The Works , next to the Blaenau Gwent learning Zone, and the land adjoining David Taylors Garage. The link will be free to use 7 days a week and will operate between 7am and 11.30pm. The carriage can accommodate 20-25 passengers per journey

A council spokeswoman said: “The link will be within close proximity of the Welsh Government’s proposed extended railway link into Ebbw Vale therefore providing greater connectivity between the Ebbw Vale Town Centre and The Works site. “

Planning permission for the scheme has now been submitted with a decision anticipated before Christmas 2013.

If successful building will begin in the New Year, with an anticipated completion date of December 2014.

Along with the link, the scheme includes plans to incorporate landscaped access steps and low impact cycle path which are being progressed separately

Hedley McCarthy, leader of the council said: “The regeneration in Ebbw Vale and Blaenau Gwent continues. The creation of these links will provide attractive and safe routes, encouraging pedestrian movement between the town centre, The Works Site and within Ebbw Vale."

The spokeswoman added: "Funding for the project has been secured and supported from Welsh European Funding Office, Convergence Programme and Welsh Government Heads of the Valleys Programme and targeted match funding alongside Council contributions and private sector investment.