Posted: Thu 29th Jun 2023

Ebbw Vale Cableway closure reversed after £410,000 funding received

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 29th, 2023

The Ebbw Vale Cableway will not be closing after all, after Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council revealed it had found the money needed to keep it open. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Earlier this month it was confirmed by the council that the facility would be closing as part of proposals to save £6.6 million this financial year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The council has now said that the £41,000 needed to keep it open has been found from “external funding” that doesn’t come from the Welsh Government. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Council leader, Cllr Steve Thomas said: “Following work by officers of the regeneration and environment department, alternative funding has now been identified which means that we can now keep the Cableway open. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This will keep the link available for the public and protect it from frontline budget pressures while we endure the current funding crisis. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“As I said some weeks ago, councillors from both political groups in Blaenau Gwent have been eager to see the link saved, as it was always a difficult decision to mothball the facility. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“But, as we have explained previously, we are facing an extremely challenging financial situation which has meant tough choices about services.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During a public consultation process on the 2023/2024 budget in January and February, the majority of people didn’t see paying for the Cableway as a priority. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The authority has asked residents the question “What is acceptable,” as it prepared to reform services and outline the grim reality of where potential cuts and savings will need to be made. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The vast majority chose to give funding priority to schools and social services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Thomas said:  “We have heard from many people who use the Cableway to access education, work, leisure, and local amenities, especially those with mobility problems and vulnerabilities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Their feedback has been uppermost as we worked towards this positive solution.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The lift, which cost £2.3 million, opened in 2015 and concerns had been raised that closing the facility would see it become a flashpoint for vandalism and anti-social behaviour. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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