The Valleys Regional Park
Parc Rhanbarthol y Cymoedd
VALLEYS REGIONAL PARK - AIMS, VISION AND FUTURE DIRECTION
Valleys Regional Park (VRP) is an exciting, dynamic initiative to co-ordinate, drive and promote activities related to the environment and heritage and associated tourism activities across the valleys of south Wales, working originally in conjunction with the Welsh Government’s former Heads of the Valleys and Western Valleys Regeneration Programmes, with marketing through the Valleys ‘Heart & Soul’ campaign, to change the reality and perceptions of the Valleys as a highly-desirable place to live, work and visit.
Over sixty partners have been involved to date to deliver the VRP partnership’s activities through a more strategic cross-sector, cross-boundary collaborative, regional approach to enhance and promote the Valleys’ outstanding environmental and cultural assets thereby helping to regenerate the area.
The partnership’s activities cover the area that was essentially the former south Wales coalfield. Stretching from the western borders of Monmouthshire in the east to the former anthracite-mining valleys of Carmarthenshire in the west, and bounded by the Brecon Beacons National Park to the north and the major cities of Cardiff, Swansea, and Newport to the south, it covers an area of over 200,000 hectares and is home to around 1 million people, approximately a third of the Welsh population.
The VRP phase one was complted by 2014; A number of independent evaluation studies have been carried out looking at various elements of the VRP activities to date including an overarching report by staff at Cardiff University’s School of Planning and Geography. In addition, a report has been carried out by Blaengad Cyf. (Research and Consultancy) looking at future options for the next phase of the VRP.
Both reports are available for download by clicking the links opposite.
VRP works to deliver an environment and heritage action plan devised as a result of the development work and complements the Welsh Government’s regeneration
activities and programmes.
The aim is to create a leading high-quality, sustainable network of green infrastructure fit for the twenty-first century that will:
The Valleys Regional Park is the area designated for the partnership’s activities. The marketing and promotion of the area come under The Valleys ‘Heart & Soul’ campaign.
One of the themes for the VRP Masterplan 2007
The Valleys Regional Park concept was the result of more than 3 years’ research and collaborative development and planning with over 30 partner organisations and a stakeholder group of over 550 people, which was funded by the Heads of the Valleys Initiative. The background and evidence of need were established by the Valleys Regional Park working document published in July 2007.
The UK Regional Park Concept
In the UK, Regional Park designation is used to define distinctive and extensive areas where management and spatial planning can bring about regionally significant economic, environmental and social benefits. Regional Parks helped to drive regeneration through strong partnerships between the public, private and voluntary sectors.
A Regional Park is not a planning designation and is neither a National Park nor Country Park.
Individual Regional Parks are unique and develop their own definition and vision based on their local characteristics, needs and aspiration. This means they can adapt to local circumstances, embrace innovation and entrepreneurship, and engage community support.
Importantly, all Regional Parks use environmental enhancement as a foundation for social and economic improvement programmes.