£30m Merthyr retail park expansion aims for 550 jobs

Ambitious new plans for Cyfarthfa Retail Park
Image caption Plans to expand the retail park have been in the pipeline for 15 years, say councillors

An expansion of a retail park in Merthyr Tydfil could create 550 new jobs if given the go ahead, say developers.

London-based Hammerson will draw up plans for a £30m extension to Cyfarthfa Retail Park, for councillors next year.

It is hoped big names, like Marks and Spencer, will be attracted to the site.

The draft says 300 jobs will be created during the construction phase and a further 250 permanent posts once the park is opened.

It will go before council planners in the new year.

Councillor Paul Brown attended a presentation Hammerson made to the council last week.

He said: "This has been on the agenda for the last 15 years. The people of Merthyr have been waiting a long time for this.

"This won't just mean jobs when it opens but construction jobs as well, which is going to be a massive boost."

If the blueprint survives the planning scrutiny committee the park could be opened as early as March 2014.

'Spin-off effect'

Mr Brown said: "Having a premier outlet has got to draw in people from not just Merthyr but also from the top of the Heads of the Valleys. That has got to have a spin-off effect for the town."

The current B&Q store will move to a small site, which will make way for the new development.

Russell Beresford, development executive at Hammerson, said the company was preparing an application.

He said: "The proposals include reconfiguring the existing park to provide space for a range of new retailers following considerable demand."

He said there would be public consultation events before Christmas and in the town centre early in the new year.