The Physical and Economic Regeneration of the South Wales Valleys through Partnership

  • Hong Wang

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    Composed of a bloc of "urban villages", the South Wales Valleys have undergone continuous physical and economic decline in the last 60-70 years, due to the shrinkage of their backbone industries of coal mining and steel. The regeneration of the Valleys is therefore on the agenda of the government. The latest and the most comprehensive approach - the Valleys Programme - was launched in 1988, seeking to tackle the full range of physical, economic, environmental and social problems. Under this initiative, a series of urban regeneration projects, including the 1992 National Garden Festival at Ebbw Vale, have been promoted at different localities through partnership.

    The present research aims to study the Valleys regeneration by focusing on an examination of four projects representing three major partnership models: the Independent Organisation, the Contractual Joint Venture and the Informal Consortium. In assessing the impact of the projects, the emphasis is on physical and economic regeneration of a "property-led" nature.

    The Garden Festival at Ebbw Vale is first examined. Considerable attention is paid to this project as it constitutes a "flagship" scheme managed by an Independent Organisation. The four previously-staged Garden Festivals in the U.K. are examined to draw lessons from them. Based on the findings, the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival is studied, focusing on its special features, its anticipated benefits and the measures to maximise its long-term benefits.

    Alternative approaches to urban regeneration in the Valleys are also studied. South Llanelli Coastal Area Regeneration is selected as an example of a Contractual Joint Venture initiative. Rhondda Heritage Park and Abertillery Town Centre Renewal present contrasting examples of an Informal Consortium. Comparisons of the different approaches are conducted with an emphasis on project characteristics and partnership features.

    Partnership is important to the success of the regeneration of the Valleys. In this research, the strengths and weaknesses of the three partnership models are identified.

    It has also been found that partnership at a higher level, that is, between different projects, would be valuable, and a proposal is made accordingly for promoting such a partnership.
    Date of AwardNov 1992
    Original languageEnglish

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