The largest regeneration project in Wales is currently underway on the former Steelworks site – including the opening of a new Learning Zone, Leisure Centre, housing, industry and The Gwent Archives.
A £250 million racetrack is planned for Ebbw Vale Developers say the track will create thousands of jobs, and bring 750,000 visitors to the area each year.
Closing the main industries, such as coal mines and steelworks, has led to an overall loss in jobs, and the region now moves towards an economy where its manufacturing and service jobs have to compete with all of the world’s emerging regions and countries.
However, significant recent investment in Blaenau Gwent includes:
- Over £100 million for the Learning Works Scheme at The Works
- £12 million in new accommodation which also provides care services for elderly people
- £111 million investment in housing as part of housing stock transfer
- £50 million state-of-the-art hospital at The Works
- The UK’s first dedicated Green Skills Training Centre in Tredegar, training over 1,000 people each year in renewable technology
- Town centre renovation for all five towns through regeneration projects and grants
Tourism is extremely important to Blaenau Gwent
Blaenau Gwent participates in the annual STEAM research. In 2014 this showed that:
- Around 630,400 people visited Blaenau Gwent, generating expenditure of around £36.37 million.
- Since 2011 visitor numbers and expenditure has increased by 1%.
- 80% of recorded visitors were Day Visitors. Just over 17% were staying with Friends or Relations (VFR), and almost 3% were staying in commercial accommodation operations.
- Day Visitors contributed 45% of the area’s income, whilst VFR generated 41% and those staying in commercial accommodation generated 14% to the overall expenditure.
- An estimated 395 FTE jobs are directly attributed to Tourism, and a further 154 FTE’s are indirectly linked. Food & Drink together with Shopping are the sectors with the most direct employment.
The goal for Ebbw Vale and Blaenau Gwent is to encourage the tourism sector to grow in a sustainable way to make an increasing contribution to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Wales.