THE FIRST works have started on a project to turn the former Pontypridd Bingo Hall and Angharad’s Nightclub into a new open public space ahead of the main development in the new year.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has appointed a contractor to carry out initial preparatory work before its full redevelopment at the start of 2024.
Prichard’s Contracting is doing advanced ground works from Monday, November 6 following the previous demolition of the former Bingo Hall and Angharad’s Nightclub buildings.
In May 2023, the council announced that the area would be redeveloped into an open space, which will include greenery and a food/drink outlet, and it said this was one of the well-supported ideas for the site in a previous public consultation.
A small element of the site, next to the A4058 Sardis Road, will be converted into new bus stop bays using Welsh Government funding with the aim being to better integrate bus and rail services as part of the South Wales Metro.
The new bays and waiting facilities will allow southbound buses to serve the bottom end of the town, and will be in use before the 2024 National Eisteddfod of Wales in Pontypridd, the council said.
Works from Monday (November 6) will include earthworks and enabling work for utility and drainage infrastructure, to be completed by Christmas.
It will be contained within the site hoarding on the town centre side, to minimise disruption to businesses and visitors but High Street will be closed to traffic for at least two Sundays in November for trial holes on existing utilities and the council said it would provide more detail on this.
During the preparation work (from November 6), a single lane closure will be needed at Sardis Road – reducing southbound traffic to one lane.
A foot way closure on Sardis Road is also needed along the site, but the current pedestrian access into the town centre will say as normal.
After this initial work is completed, the site will close for the Christmas and New Year period, before the main scheme starts early next year.
The council has begun a tender process to appoint a contractor for those works.
The council said that the space will provide a quality public realm open space, and will ensure the newly-revealed views to the high street, exposed when the bingo hall buildings were demolished, will be kept with greenery and planting to be included too.
It said: “The site will provide a safe and accessible pedestrian route from Sardis Road into the town centre – well-located for train users arriving in Pontypridd, and also bus users taking advantage of the new bays being established at Sardis Road. A dedicated seating area will also be provided for train and bus users.
“The area will act as a clear, legible arrival point at the southern end of the town centre, with clear way-finding signage and visitor information. A small-scale food/drink outlet will also operate there, with a dedicated seating area.”