£9m new fund to support town centres
Welsh Government has announced that up to £5.3m from the Transforming Towns programme will be used to fund adaptions in town centres to support traders and improve public safety in response to coronavirus, and a further £3.7m of Valleys Taskforce funding is to be invested in enhancing small town centres. This will include outdoor works such as awnings, tables and chairs, heating, screening, bollards, planters, small green infrastructure schemes, electricity supply, lighting, the temporary use of vacant buildings, the establishment of local markets and more. Meanwhile, the £3.7m Valleys Taskforce funding will be used to enable communities to work closer to home within town centres through co-working spaces and sustainable and active travel improvements. Bridgend County Borough council is currently looking at how the funding can be rolled out locally and more details will be available soon.
Support to buy school uniforms
Following the recent announcement on the phased reopening of schools in September, parents, carers and guardians are being reminded that Welsh Government grants are available to help families on low-incomes purchase school clothing and equipment. Learners receiving free school meals can get a Welsh Government grant if they are entering reception class in primary school, are at the start of any of the key stages, or are aged 4, 7, 11 or 14 and are in special schools, special needs resource bases or pupil referral units. Funding for looked-after children is available every school year and covers not only school uniforms, but also clothing such as sports kit and equipment for school trips, design and technology activities and more. Further details are available from the Gov.wales website.
Parc Slip reopens
The Parc Slip Visitor Centre and car park will reopen on Tuesday 28 July. Available between 10am–4pm from Tuesday to Saturday, the café at the visitor centre will also be open, with social distancing arrangements in place and a reduced menu on offer.
Appointments at Bridgend Register Office
The appointment scheme for people who wish to give notice of a forthcoming marriage or civil partnership and parents wanting to register a new baby is proving to be hugely popular. Due to the success of the scheme, additional contact numbers have been set up so that appointments can be arranged by emailing [email protected] or calling 01656 642391 / 642392 / 642393. Access to Bridgend Register Office is available via the ceremony entrance, which is at the side of its new location at the Civic Offices in Angel Street, and there is no drop-in service available at this time.
Don’t let Covid-19 put you off fostering
Local residents are being encouraged not to let the pandemic put them off from finding out more about becoming a foster carer. Just as there is no typical foster child, there is no such thing as a typical foster carer – few circumstances automatically prevent someone from being able to foster, and the council is urging people not to rule themselves out. You can find out more by visiting Bridgend Foster Care.
Blood donors wanted
As pandemic restrictions continue to ease, the Welsh Blood Service is seeking urgent donations. They will be visiting Bridgend County Borough later this months and will be at Maesteg Sports Centre on Tuesday 28 July between 10am–12.30pm and 2pm-5.30pm, and also on Wednesday 29 July between 9.30am–12.30pm and 2pm-5pm. You can book an appointment to make a donation today by visiting www.welsh-blood.org.uk
Helping the homeless
Support for homeless people continues to be available during the coronavirus outbreak. The council’s Jigsaw facility is assessing people’s needs to either prevent them from becoming homeless or help provide emergency accommodation. Advice regarding homelessness, the housing register and housing benefit is available online, and people can also contact the council via [email protected] or 01656 643643.