A £1.6MILLION shopping and business development in Pontypool will be officially opened tomorrow by Lynne Neagle AM for Torfaen and Gwent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnston.

There will also be a free party, from noon to 3.30pm.

The project, developed by Bron Afon Community Housing and Torfaen council, is part of a four-year project with a total cost of £10m, to improve areas of Pontypool, Garndiffaith and Trevethin.

The area being opened, known as the Trevethin Village Core project, includes a new police office which will be open from 8am to midnight seven days a week, a community café and two small units for businesses to rent.

Work began last year with the aim of transforming Trevethin shops into a central shopping and business area for the community, thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund, the Welsh Government’s Target Match Fund and the Heads of the Valleys programme.

Ms Neagle said: “This exciting collaboration should help transform the heart of Trevethin, giving the area a much-needed facelift and providing local residents with a one-stop shop to access the services they need.”

Mr Johnston said the project would ensure Gwent Police had a “strong presence” in the communities it serves.

Duncan Forbes, chief executive of Bron Afon, said: “These improvements have enhanced the environment around the shops and will help secure the future of this vibrant and vital shopping centre.”