LONG-AWAITED plans to spend £10 million redeveloping Caldicot’s “tired” town centre have been welcomed by councillors.

New homes, refurbished shops, a pedestrian-friendly “civilised street” and a co-working space feature in Monmouthshire County Council’s proposals.

The scheme, which will be partly funded by the Welsh Government, is being considered within wider regeneration plans of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal.

Cath Fallon, head of enterprise, told the council’s economy and development select committee that work was needed to address “market failure” in Caldicot.

“We’re looking to provide a stimulus for the town centre with a view of improving investor confidence, in-town living and activity,” she said on Thursday.

“It’s about improving the ambience and environment of Caldicot, not just the regeneration element.”

Councillor Alan Davies hoped that parking provision would remain a priority, with the council planning to reconfigure Jubilee Way car park to make room for 27 homes.

Concern was also raised about existing congestion on Church Road, particularly at school drop-off times, and the meeting heard that work was ongoing to solve the issue.

But Cllr Davies said: “It’s an excellent scheme. Those of us that live in Caldicot thought that this day would never come.”

A fellow Caldicot councillor, Jim Higginson, added: “I’m pleased that there’s some interest to make a tired town a lot better.”

Councillor Jez Becker said the co-working space had potential but suggested that a private company run it rather than the council, which is something being considered by officers.

“I’d prefer to see a company which specialises in shared work spaces rather than us trying to do a half-arsed job,” said Cllr Becker.

Cllr Becker also had concerns about the council’s plans to spend money “doing up” privately-owned buildings. Ms Fallon said the grant scheme was split 70/30, with landlords picking up the smaller tab.

“The split does make you wince a bit, it’s very heavily weighted in their favour,” added Cllr Becker.

Ms Fallon said plans to improve shop exteriors and create “uniformity” was key to encourage people to visit the town.

The meeting heard that high streets were turning into “leisure destinations” and the scheme would have to reflect such changes.

But Councillor Mat Feakins warned: “Market intervention, where you’ve got market failure, by a local authority doesn’t always work.

“Sometimes you can throw as much money at something and it just doesn’t quite change it.

"It’s also about how do we, once we’ve finished in Caldicot, look at other projects in other towns."