PLANS to spend £10 million regenerating Caldicot’s town centre have gained the approval of Monmouthshire County Council’s cabinet.

An apartment complex, a vibrant shopping centre, improved accessibility and new road infrastructure could be built over the next three years.

The project forms part of the wider Capital Capital Region’s draft regeneration plan, which cabinet approved for submission to the Welsh Government’s Targeted Regeneration Investment (TRI) programme.

Up to £44 million has been made available for investment within south east Wales, and Monmouthshire council say the economic potential of Severnside – with a population of around 20,000 – must be “unlocked”.

With the Severn Bridge tolls ending, a council report describes Caldicot’s proximity to high growth areas in the south west of England and the Midlands as “enviable”.

Demand for affordable and market housing in Caldicot has spiked since the reduction of the tolls – but the council say the town centre is currently unfit for purpose.

READ MORE: End of tolls could spike house prices

The council’s deputy leader, Bob Greenland, said on Wednesday that the programme would make a “huge difference” to Caldicot.

“In the past we have ensured that footfall goes through the Asda store but you have to have an offer in the town centre to drawn those people into the town centre,” said Cllr Greenland.

“We clearly haven’t got that at the moment. The summer months have shown us that the face of retail throughout the UK is changing, and we need to be alive to those changes.”

Most of the proposed financial outlay - £7.3 million – could be spent refurbishing the parade of shops facing the pedestrianised town centre and backing onto the Jubilee Way car park.

The free facility would be reconfigured to allow for 27 apartments, an urban courtyard and a new car park, to be built in its place.

Shopfronts would also benefit under the proposals with funding for enhanced frontages and improved signage, with more than £750,000 also set aside to improve the public realm on Newport Road.

Around £500,000 could be spent on improving links to and from the northern half of the town centre, with an enhanced link along Church Road also proposed. Other projects include the creation of a co-working space within the community hub on Woodstock Way and a parking strategy.

Before any work can start, the council’s cabinet has agreed to spend around £147,000 to submit a project development funding application to the Welsh Government.

A provisional spending plan of £148,669 for 2018/19 has also been supported by the cabinet, an investment which would be covered through section 106 funding and in kind staff time.