Blaenau Gwent’s geography is defined by the beautifully desolate mountain tops which divide and watch over its vibrant, bustling valleys. Although the towns give the county borough a busy, urban feel, Blaenau Gwent is actually a largely rural area. Forty five per cent of the land area is undeveloped, and the greater part of this is defined as open countryside. Wherever you are, beautiful countryside is never far away.
The Tech Valleys Vision, Valleys Regional Park and Cardiff Capital Regional City Deal, combined with new transport links including the soon to be completed Heads of the Valley Road and rail routes to Cardiff, bring a bright future. Together with the amazing location and surrounding parkland our people and communities make Blaenau Gwent great. Our people have influenced on the local, national and international stage in art, sport and politics for many generations – putting Blaenau Gwent on the map for all the right reasons.
Blaenau Gwent Council strives to provide its residents with high quality facilities offering opportunities for each person to improve their quality of life. Excellent leisure facilities are available throughout the county borough, offering a huge range of activities: from outdoor pursuits and water sports at Parc Bryn Bach above Tredegar, to the indoor bowls centre in Abertillery; from the Market Hall Cinema in Brynmawr – one of the few still operated by a local authority – to the Llanhilleth Institute, currently undergoing a major refurbishment. A hi-tech network of Learning Action Centres, library facilities and ‘Digilabs’ provide educational and IT opportunities to people of all ages.
Blaenau Gwent has experienced enormous regeneration investment in recent years, with much more to come. Major projects like the re-opening of the Ebbw Valley railway and the re-development of the former Corus steelworks site in Ebbw Vale will transform the face of the borough.
The role of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and its partners is to maximise our assets, doing more with less and doing it better. The decline of heavy industry continues to impact on employment prospects and intergenerational opportunities. We face issues with health and wealth inequality, the rise of online shopping and the impact on our town centres and social issues affecting our families and young people. Most significantly, this year’s global COVID-19 pandemic will have long-term and as yet unclear effects on our whole society.
As a Council we face increasing demand for some of our services with reductions to our budgets. But we are tackling these issues head on with our partners, businesses and the local community. We are looking at how we spend our money to achieve the best outcomes for our residents, we are supporting new and existing businesses, we are looking at our assets to achieve new income streams and we are removing barriers to enable residents to access what they need. All in all, we are looking forward to a positive future.
Blaenau Gwent is changing fast: from its former position as the powerhouse of heavy industry, into a modern, green and economically dynamic region, linked by rail and road to the commercial opportunities of the future, and by heritage and community to its roots.