Work completed on major renovation of Green Park Weir in Port Talbot

September 15, 2017

Left: Aberavon AM David Rees and Matthew Kennerley, Director, ABP South Wales unveiling a plaque to commemorate the renovation of Green Park Weir

Work has been completed on a £2.7 million improvement project undertaken by ABP South Wales to upgrade Green Park Weir on the River Afan in Port Talbot.

Green Park Weir was officially reopened by Aberavon AM David Rees on Thursday 14th September. This major renovation project to rebuild the Weir was necessary as it had been in its former state since the 1890’s and deteriorating year on year.

The Green Park Weir improvement project was the result of several years of collaboration between members of the River Afan Water Management Group who have been working in partnership to deliver sustainable natural resource management at the site.

The group brings together key stakeholders and is composed of Associated British Ports (ABP), Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Tata Steel (UK), Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, and the Afan Valley Angling Club.

This vital renovation project was completed by local construction company Andrew Scott between June 2016 and September 2017. It will provide huge benefits to the River Afan in terms of improved water management, increased water security for local businesses, and safeguarding the well-being of future generations in the area.

The weir exists to impound water in the Afan which flows down a feeder channel to Port Talbot dock, providing water for dock operations and to Tata Steel (UK) for cooling and other essential purposes in the Port Talbot Steelworks. The renovation works will ensure the security of the river and its long term ability to supply the steelworks.

Migratory fish stocks will also see a positive improvement from the project as the new design of the weir, which was designed by JBA Consulting, will allow for easier passage up and down the river. This will improve existing conditions and help develop more sustainable fish populations in the river.

Matthew Kennerley, Director, ABP South Wales, said: “Green Park Weir was a complicated project because of the need to rebuild the whole weir while working within the river itself. The River is very important to both the local environment and to the local industry and we’re pleased that the River Afan Water Management Group have ensured the project was completed in a way that will benefit all stakeholders and ensure the River is available for future generations to enjoy.”

Councillor Rob Jones, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, said: “It is very pleasing to see the new Green Park Weir completed. The weir design in itself is very attractive and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in this major regeneration project that will provide huge benefits to the River Afan in terms of water management and increased water security for local businesses”.

John Phillips, Life President, Afan Valley Angling Club, said: “The Green Park Weir project is the latest development in the recovery of the river and highlights what can be achieved with the cooperation between local industry and the local people of the Afan Valley that will hopefully benefit everyone for years to come. This is seen as a major step in the recovery of the River and the Afan Valley Angling Club wish to extend their thanks to all those who have been and continue to be instrumental in driving the project from its inception through to its projected completion.

Gideon Carpenter, Senior Policy Advisor, Natural Resources Wales, said: “The completion of the new Green Park Weir is the result of a great deal of hard work and significant investment on the part of the members of the Afan Water Management Group. This project will bring significant benefits for the local area and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

Mark Bowen, Managing Director, Andrew Scott, said: "We're extremely proud to have successfully completed this complex project which plays a critical factor in the day-to-day activities of both ABP and TATA. We are a long established company and local employer in and around Port Talbot, with several of our site personnel living in the surrounding area. As part of our on-going support for the area's economy, we selected local companies and suppliers with the right capabilities, helping us deliver the Weir to the agreed timescale and project cost.”