A town with a proud history, Barry is looking to the future and quickly building a reputation for itself as a desirable, aspirational and innovative place to live, work and visit in Wales.
As part of efforts to regenerate the town, the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme — which supports major capital projects to repurpose empty property, including important and historic buildings, and land in town centres across Wales — has allocated £3.5 million in funding to the Vale of Glamorgan Council for Barry-specific projects and developments.
The significant investment will support regenerative works in Barry to create a sustainable town centre and bring long-lasting economic and social benefits to the wider community.
Here are three projects that have already reaped the benefits of the Transforming Towns programme in Barry.
The newly opened Goodsheds is a mixed-use development, built on the former site of derelict Barry dockland.
Following £500,000 of Transforming Towns investment, the innovative project saw unused shipping containers and an empty Victorian railway building go under renovation to create the sustainable venue — now situated within the growing Innovation Quarter at Barry Waterfront.
The £9m+ development has been designed to complement Barry’s High Street — comprising independent food, drink and retail businesses, modern office spaces, an outdoor gym, luxury rental accommodation and even brand-new social housing provided by Newydd Housing Association.
True to the original dock setting, the development is split into three unique spaces, each with its own offering: The Shipyard, The Tracks and The Sidings.
From shipping to sipping, shopping and eating, The Shipyard is constructed entirely out of fifty-four repurposed shipping containers — now home to more than twenty independent varied businesses. Located on the original railway line, The Tracks is made up of a series of repurposed Gatwick express carriages reserved for artisan traders, a cinema, and a space to hire for events and meetings.
Formally known as The Gwalia Buildings, The Sidings makes use of a renovated 1880s railway building to house commercial units and luxury rental apartments. Repurposing this red brick building has maintained the industrial heritage Barry is renowned for while simultaneously bringing it into the 21st century.
33 Holton Road
Before becoming vacant and falling into disrepair, 33 Holton Road was once home to a bank, and for a short while after, a local hair salon.
Left un-used for over three years and at risk of becoming a derelict eyesore at the Lombard Street Junction on one of Barry’s busiest streets, Transforming Towns funding has helped to turn the historic empty building into a mixed use commercial and housing venue — boasting office space for local businesses and four, two-bedroom flats (open market rent) in a central town location.
All four of the flats have been occupied since October 2020, while the new office space will soon be home to specialist, independent flooring company, The Floor Store UK.
Meanwhile, following a £1.3m Transforming Town investment through the Welsh Government’s Town Centre Loan fund, the unkept, former site of Dinam Hall has been transformed into a three-storey block of modernised, affordable flats. The new exterior of the development was based on the make-up of the original Dinam Hall, which was demolished in 1996.
Managed and led by Newydd Housing Association, the regeneration development comprises six two-bedroom apartments and three one-bedroom apartments — with the project designed to address local housing needs while providing a new lease of life to what would have otherwise remained a derelict stretch of land on Merthyr Street, Barry.
Newydd chief executive, Jason Wroe said: “Dinam Hall is a testament to our fantastic collaborative work with many organisations involved in this incredible regeneration project.
“To see the fantastic transformation of the former Dinam Hall site, we at Newydd are proud to offer high quality and affordable homes within a community where people can socialise, work and live.
“These are essential ingredients in any successful regeneration project, creating a sustainable community in the heart of Barry for years to come.”
With Transforming Towns funding continuing to be invested across Barry, there are plenty of exciting regeneration projects on the horizon.
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said: “The Transforming Towns initiative brings a vital boost to local economies across Welsh towns, supporting communities and businesses to develop and thrive.
“The regeneration projects in Barry to date demonstrate the importance of town centres for the local community — with each development, under the guidance of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, providing the people of Barry more business space and housing opportunities as well as places to meet and socialise with others for years to come.
“With many more exciting regeneration developments on the horizon for this town, I look forward to watching other projects reach success and bring a social and economic boost to the local area in 2021 and beyond.”
Providing funds to regenerate Welsh high streets, iconic local buildings and town and city centres, Transforming Towns is delivered by the Welsh Government. The programme for town centres is worth nearly £110 million, building on an existing projected investment of £800 million in over 50 towns since 2014.
For more information on current and upcoming regeneration projects in Barry, visit valeofglamorgan.gov.uk.