New £1.6 Million Shops and Police Office Now Open

A free party was thrown for the whole community who were invited to come along and join the AM, the Commissioner and local councillors to celebrate the official opening of the Trevethin Village Core project.

Work on transforming Trevethin shops into a central shopping and business area for the community began last year as part of a £10 million four year project to improve Pontypool, Garndiffaith and Trevethin. The police now have an office in the new centre which also has a community cafÌ© and two small units for local businesses to rent.

The project was developed and submitted by Bron Afon Community Housing with support from Communities First and Torfaen County Borough Council and funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the Welsh Government's targeted match fund and the Heads of the Valleys programme.

The Welsh Assembly Member for Torfaen, Lynne Neagle, said: "This very innovative project represents a huge boost for Trevethin, so it's great to see these plans come to fruition.

"By bringing together social enterprise and small businesses - as well as providing a local base for Gwent Police - this exciting collaboration should help transform the heart of Trevethin, giving the area a much needed facelift and providing local residents with a one-stop shop to access the services they need. Indeed, Trevethin's new social enterprise centre looks set to become a key focal point for this community over many years to come."

The new Police Office is accessible and usable to Gwent Police Officers between 8am and midnight, seven days a week.

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "Ensuring Gwent Police has a strong presence in the heart of the communities it serves is important where reassuring and engaging with the public is concerned. That is why we were delighted to be a part of this exciting project which plays such an important role in the regeneration of the area. Forging new partnerships such as this one means we are able to maintain a presence in Trevethin and make effective use of the space available at this modern facility."

Duncan Forbes, the Chief Executive of Bron Afon Community Housing, said: "The Community in Trevethin and their neighbours in St Cadocs and Penygarn have been seeking this kind of investment in their vital shops for well over ten years and we are really delighted to have been able to work with Torfaen County Borough Council, Gwent Police, traders and the local community to secure this investment. We are proud to have led the management and delivery of the project with the benefit of European Regional Development Fund, Welsh Governments Targeted Match fund and the Heads of the Valleys Programme. These improvements have enhanced the environment around the shops and will help secure the future of this vibrant and vital shopping centre."

The Deputy Leader of Torfaen County Borough Council, Lewis Jones, said: "I am delighted these major improvement works are completed. The shopping area acts as the entrance to Trevethin and I'm convinced the revamped shopping area will be a wonderful asset to Trevethin and the surrounding area. I always urge people to shop local whenever possible, and the expanded and improved facilities in Trevethin offers a wide selection of goods and services for residents to take advantage. This is a great example of partnership working improving services at a time when budgets are shrinking and demand for our services increases."