A multi-million-pound makeover of Porthcawl’s ‘Tarmac beach’ is going ahead

The long-planned replacement of a beach which is also a vital sea defence is set to go ahead after the Welsh Government announced more than £2m of funding for Porthcawl.

The cash will help pay for the £3m revamp of the Town Beach, which is also known as the Tarmac or concrete beach.

In an announcement made on Tuesday, the Welsh Government said the existing sea defences were constructed in 1984 and a recent inspection found the structure to be in a deteriorating condition and coming to the end of its viable life.

The current defences protect several million pounds worth of homes and commercial properties along the Esplanade, including the Grand Pavilion.

The Government said that when complete the strengthened defences will reduce the risk of flooding and erosion from the sea to 260 properties.

The ‘Tarmac beach’ was constructed in 1984
(Image: Peter Bolter)

Bridgend council will pay the difference for the scheme, which will cost a total of £3,065,528.

The £2,299,146 announced on Tuesday will enable works to be carried out to improve the defences, which will include:

• the partial demolition of the existing structure

• replacement of the existing asphalt with a new terraced structure which will be surfaced in a sand colour in line with the responses from the public consultation.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “I am pleased to be able to provide this vital funding to strengthen sea defences in Porthcawl, which will provide reassurance to those who live and work in or visit this popular tourist destination.

“We have invested unprecedented levels of funding in recent years and over the lifetime of this Government we will be investing over £144m capital funding in flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes around Wales.”

The flood defence protects the Esplanade and millions of pounds worth of seafront property
(Image: Peter Bolter)

Councillor Richard Young, Bridgend council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “This significant investment from the Welsh Assembly is excellent news for Porthcawl and will enable Bridgend County Borough Council to continue to protect the town centre and seafront area from flooding while also offering a more visually pleasing ‘terraced’ design for the sea defences.

“The contract for the work is currently being finalised and I am looking forward to being able to reveal more details about the project very soon.”

The concrete beach underwent a major upgrade in 2005 at a cost of almost £500,000.

A new 12-inch layer of asphalt had to be laid after damage the previous winter made urgent repairs necessary.

Consultation on the new design began in 2013.

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/multi-million-pound-makeover-porthcawls-13574201