PLANS to transform three former steelworks feeder ponds into a fishing and educational centre in Ebbw Vale are under way thanks to a £150,000 Assembly cash boost.

Two of the Waun y Pound Ponds near Ebbw Vale will become managed fishing sites while the third lake will be transformed into an environmental education facility with a cafe and visitor centre.

Work has started on the site, known as the Blue Lakes, to lay new paths, erect fencing and improve security in preparation for the development.

The initial groundwork was made possible with a £150,000 grant to Ebbw Vale District and Development Trust, which is leading the project, from the Assembly’s Heads of the Valleys Programme.

It is hoped the lakes, which range in size from one acre to 5.9 acres, will become a popular tourist attraction offering walking, bird watching and angling facilities.

The lakes and surrounding land were gifted by Corus to the EVAD, which is now looking at further funding options for the future development of the site, anticipated to take several years to complete.

Kevan Lines, Chairman of EVAD, said: “The Blue Lakes form an important green space between Ebbw Vale and Tredegar and have the potential to be a valuable local resource for recreational activity such as walking, bird watching and angling.

“Educational trips to the site will start later this year and will allow children to learn about the area’s heritage and experience the fantastic landscape and wildlife that can be found on their own doorstep.”