South West Wales

£107m Harbour Way, Port Talbot link road to M4 opens

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Media captionThe project is the type that those behind the newly-launched Swansea Bay city region hope can bring more investment to Wales

A £107m project linking Port Talbot and the docks to the M4 has been officially opened.

It is hoped the three-mile (4.8km) Harbour Way running from junction 38 at Margam will boost the docks area with land being opened up for development.

It would also help to cut congestion through the town.

The road is one of the largest local council transport projects the Welsh government and European Regional Development Fund has backed.

"The completion of Harbour Way is a significant development both for the town of Port Talbot and for the county borough as a whole," Neath Port Talbot council leader Ali Thomas said.

Business hub

"By linking key employment sites and opening up land for development along the waterfront, the project will present numerous opportunities for growth and regeneration.

"The economic benefits will be far-reaching and indeed this investment is already beginning to pay dividends."

The docks area is being transformed into a new knowledge-focused business hub, creating hundreds of skilled jobs.

Image caption The Harbour Way project took three years to complete

Plans are also in place for further development of the wider Harbourside Park area as the 150-acre site has the capacity to accommodate an additional 75,000 sq ft of space

It could lead to a potential investment of over £12m and creation of a further 700 new jobs.

Proposals are also in the pipeline for a future residential and leisure development which will sit next to the dockside and river corridor.

First Minister Carwyn Jones, who opened the road, said: "With Harbour Way now complete, and a further £9.5m of Welsh Government funding for the re-development of Port Talbot Parkway train station, robust infrastructure links will soon be in place to attract further investment to the region to transform the area into a vibrant, well connected place to live, work and do business for many years to come."

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