Tourism in Port Talbot will receive a boost thanks to a £215,000 grant from the Big Lottery’s Coastal Communities fund.
The grant will fund six events in Port Talbot between now and Christmas 2016, and has created 4.5 new posts.
The cash has been awarded to NSA Afan, a Sandfields-based charity which runs community development projects and events, including the annual Aberavon Beach Festival.
Senior Projects Manager Aled Davies said the beach festival was instrumental in helping the team win the funding.
“These new events will build on the success of the beach festival, which we hope to make even bigger and better next year,” he said. “The funding has enabled us to put a special events team, called COAST in place, and we hope this will fill the gap that has opened up since the local authority’s events team was cut.”
COAST stands for Community Opportunities And Sustainable Tourism.
He said: “We want to attract people from outside Port Talbot. It’s viewed as a primarily industrial town and people are not aware of the natural beauty of the coastline here, as well as the vibrant town centre. We want to showcase Port Talbot by putting on quality events, and we’re open to ideas if people want to get involved.”
The details of the six events are still being decided, but are likely to include a food festival and two Christmas events.
He added: “The focus will be on bringing people here, of working with the local community and local business, and putting on quality events that can become sustainable in the long term. I can’t stress enough that we need community involvement, and we look forward to working with individuals, groups and businesses over the coming months.”