New £300,000 cycle path and bike-hire scheme to bring 9,000 extra visitors to …

Tourism in Porthcawl has received a £300,000 boost – with a new cycle path and bike-hire scheme predicted to attract an extra 9,000 visitors every year.

A new cycle route stretching from Trecco Bay to Rest Bay will be established, while existing pathways will be improved to help people safely cycle or walk between different beaches and attractions.

A new bike-hire scheme called Porthcawl Pedals will also be created so visitors can hire bikes to help them explore the town and coastline.

“With an anticipated 9,000 users a year, this is excellent news for Porthcawl and the wider county borough,” said Councillor Charles Smith, who holds the regeneration portfolio at Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC), which bid for the money from the UK and Welsh Government’s Coastal Communities fund.

The Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl

Porthcawl has secured the largest portion of the £1m shared between five projects in Wales.

Bridgend Council said the scheme will establish the existing four-kilometre Wales Coastal Path route between Trecco and Rest Bay, via the Marina and the Eastern Promenade, as a cycle route.

The money will also be used to create a smartphone app to tie in with improved tourist information – including signage – “featuring new routes, loops and links”, according to Bridgend Council.

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Coun Smith said the new cycle and walking route “is designed to link in with other regeneration schemes such as our ambitious plans for bringing the Jennings Building back into use, the townscape heritage initiative, which is restoring historic buildings in the seafront area, and of course community-generated plans for establishing a new maritime centre”.

“Porthcawl remains a highly popular visitor destination and this is sure to be a major asset for the town,” he added.

Mayor David Newton-Williams has welcomed the £300,000 boost for Porthcawl

Porthcawl Mayor David Newton-Williams said this is “absolutely brilliant” news for the town.

“I think it’s a great idea and the sooner it happens the better,” he said.

The Welsh Government said the new project will directly benefit 15 businesses.

Chris Smart, Porthcawl Chamber of Trade Chairman and a director of Bridgend Tourism Association, said he is glad BCBC and the Welsh Government have recognised the town “is the coastal gem”.

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“It’s obviously very, very good news. The footfall in Porthcawl is increasing year by year as it is, so anything that can encourage it further is very good news,” he said.

The Coastal Communities Fund is funded by the Government with income from the Crown Estate’s marine assets and is designed to boost the economy of coastal communities.

It is understood it will take just under two years to implement the scheme.

Bridgend Council will be consulting the public on the details of the scheme over the next couple of months.

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/new-300000-cycle-path-bike-9723774