More than 35 people expressed an interest in Pillgwenlly regeneration scheme apprenticeships at a community event last week.
The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant, officially opened the new community hub in Pillgwenlly, before drop-in sessions for local residents were held throughout the afternoon. The aim was to allow local residents to find out more about apprenticeships and how they can use the hub for community activities.
Chief executive Ceri Doyle said: “Employability is a fundamental part of our regeneration approach, which is why we have included 300 weeks’ worth of apprenticeships into the regeneration contract.
“We want local people to make the most of this and throughout the day people visited the hub to find out more about the opportunities available to them in Pillgwenlly.”
The community event also marked the official handover of the site from Newport City Homes to contractors United Living. Newport City Homes’ £7.9million regeneration scheme has already seen the old community hub in Raglan Court demolished, as well as a number of garages on the area.
A three-storey block of six one-bedroom flats and two three-bedroom houses will be built, as well as a new community hub.
NCH board chair Nicola Somerville said: “We are aiming to deliver something substantial that will be the catalyst for changing hearts and minds. As a housing association, we cannot, in isolation, give children the best start in life. We can, however, work with partners to help achieve this.
“We want our £7.9million investment to help redefine the narrative of Pillgwenlly, with the support and commitment of our partners in Newport, the wider Gwent area and those in government.”
The new temporary hub will give residents an area in which to socialise, use computers and raise any issues that they have until a new purpose-built hub opens at the end of the year.
Nicole Barnes, community development manager (Wales and south west) for United Living, said: “The new community hub at the Pillgwenlly estate is an exciting milestone for a major regeneration scheme – one of the largest of its kind in Wales. As the project gets fully under way, it will provide a safe place for events, clubs and meetings and is available for everyone to use.
“This is one of the first steps taken in the regeneration of this historical area of Newport. The launch event itself has been a great opportunity for our team to meet with the community and to understand their expectations.
“Further down the line, we’re looking forward to engaging more closely with local residents and the community, bringing a number of opportunities forward for them including apprenticeships, training and job vacancies across the site.”