A MASTERPLAN focusing on employment, tourism and housing for Newbridge, Risca and surrounding areas has been approved by Caerphilly Council’s cabinet.

The Newbridge to Risca corridor masterplan aims to boost the area and make it “a vibrant place in which people will choose to live, work and spend their free time”.

A six-week paper and digital public consultation will begin on January 19 where residents can express their views on the proposals.

In the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, January 12, Cllr Nigel George, who represents Risca East and is cabinet member for waste, public protection and street scene, urged “everyone to take part in the consultation”.

The consultation will be available in both English and Welsh.

The main aims of Caerphilly County Borough Council’s masterplan are to:

  • Protect jobs and increase employment opportunities;
  • Encourage residents and visitors to go to the town centres, with an increased focus on night-time services;
  • Create a tourism hub;
  • Encourage Cwmcarn Forest Drive visitors to stay in the area and visit neighbouring town centres in Newbridge and Risca;
  • Improve transport links to the area;
  • Promote the use of leisure centres to improve the health and wellbeing of residents;
  • Provide housing that will meet local needs;
  • Promote the area’s attractions as a group of connected places that can be accessed through active travel.

Cllr Ross Whiting, who represents Risca West and is cabinet member for learning and leisure, said that the masterplan shows the “huge potential” the areas have.

The council hopes that boosting tourism will have a positive impact on employment, while boosting the tourism industry will provide more jobs and bring more money in to the areas.

Land next to the Lidl store on Commercial Street has been mooted as a possible site for more shops to increase consumer choice in Risca town centre.

One of the plan’s main objectives is to make the areas appealing to both residents and visitors.

It has also been suggested that better signage should be set up to promote attractions such as Cwmcarn Forest Drive, the Crumlin arm of the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal, Newbridge Memo and Caetwmpyn Park in Newbridge.

The plan also sets out to ensure the use of current and vacant employment sites and the strengthening of links between schools and employers.

Another aim is to develop the night-time services in both Newbridge and Risca town centre to encourage visitors to stay in the area longer.

The plan also includes proposed housing developments, as well as the relocation of Ysgol Gymraeg Cwm Gwyddon to a purpose-built school – with the old site redeveloped for housing.

The masterplan was supported by councillors on the Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee on November 30.

This is the fourth masterplan as part of the county borough’s ‘A Foundation for Success’ strategy.

The masterplan can be viewed online at democracy.caerphilly.gov.uk/documents/s37689/Appendix%201.pdf