A BID of more than £14 million has been made to the UK Government to improve Caldicot town centre.

Under the plans, Caldicot could see a refurbishment of some residential units and shops in Newport Road, improvements to Church Road and Newport Road West and upgrades and improvements to Caldicot Leisure Centre. 

The UK Government has set aside £4.8 billion for its Levelling Up Fund, up to 2024/25, which will be available for all areas of the UK to “invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life”.

Monmouthshire council has bid for £14.7 million from the fund – the maximum a local authority can request is £20 million.

However, at least 10 per cent has to be funded by other means and the county council confirmed in their bid that £6.1 million will be provided via local and third party contributions. 

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The application for the funding says: “The projects aim to improve accessibility and connectivity for all with the adoption of low traffic neighbourhoods across the proposed east to west axis.”

It says the town centre is “not fit for purpose to meet the needs of future residents with its offer and range of facilities dated and lacking diversity”.

The UK Government is set to prioritise areas which have the most “significant” need based on economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity and the need for regeneration.

However, Monmouthshire has been placed in the lowest of three categories, which means it isn’t a priority for funding. 

The council will find out in August whether the funding bid has been successful.

Repurposing Newport Road retail block

Monmouthshire council has requested more than £3.8 million to repurpose units seven to 43 on Newport Road. 


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If approved, the project would be supported by £2.2 million in match funding.

In the application, the council said: “Economically, the town centre is not fit for purpose to meet the needs of future residents with its offer and range of facilities dated and lacking diversity.”

Current vacancy rates in the town sit at 20 per cent and the council has said that the Covid pandemic “has accelerated the shock impacts to UK’s high streets, with Caldicot requiring significant re-purposing and investment if it is to meet the need of its diverse local community”.

Under the plans for Newport Road, the town centre units would be refurbished to high quality and attractive development at the heart of the town centre”.

The units have “fallen into steady decline and disrepair”, with the cost of repairing the premises too expensive for most occupiers. 

The investment would create new shop fronts and signage, the ground floor retail spaces would be refurbished to provide “high quality commercial space” and  the residential upper floors would also be refurbished to provide accommodation.

Church Road and Newport Road West travel upgrades

Proposals designed to “deliver or improve cycle and walking infrastructure” on Church Road and Newport Road West in Caldicot have been put forward by the county council.

The bid for the travel upgrades totals £4.3 million, with another £1.9 million coming from match funding. 

Some of the improvements include widening footways and pedestrian crossing areas, dropping kerbs and improving visibility, enhancing walking links to the existing park and playing fields behind Newport Road West and creating a footway along the southern edge of Newport Road West.

In the application, the council says the improvements would “present an enhanced environment for those that have a physical or visual impairment”.

The improvements would “reduce vehicle speeds and give priorities for pedestrians, wheelchair users and disability scooters, amongst others”.

Mini hubs for cycle storage would also be created under the plans. 

The scheme is aimed at improving cycle and walking routes.

The application says: “In particular, the Newport Road West scheme will see the layout of the highway changed such that through trips are no longer possible and a standardised footway provided along both sides of the road. 

“This will make pedestrians much more of a focus than they are at present.”

Caldicot Leisure Centre

Plans to refurbish Caldicot Leisure Centre and skate park were put on hold due to financial difficulties, however if this bid is successful then they’ll be firmly back on the table.

The council has requested £7.5 million from the UK Government fund to extend the fitness suite, create new changing rooms, improve the pool area and include a steam room and sauna, enhance the pool viewing area and deliver a soft play and cafe facility. 

External improvements would include outdoor changing facilities, the creation of squash courts and a replacement skatepark.

If approved, the scheme would also benefit from £1 million in match funding. 

The council had previously said the project would be put “on hold until a return to normal operating conditions and there is some resilience built into the market”.