Work begins on Canton’s £100m urban village on Arjo Wiggins site

Work has begun on the £100m Tirion Developments project to transform a large deserted industrial site into a spectacular 800-home community close to Cardiff city centre.

On a visit to the site today Economy Minister Edwina Hart described it as a major milestone in a much anticipated development.

The Minister said:

“It’s great to see work is now underway on what is set to become a key regeneration project that will see the transformation of the former paper mill site into a vibrant new community. It will not only provide hundreds of much needed new homes, including affordable homes, but will also bring investment to this area of Cardiff and create a significant number of jobs in the construction industry.”

Pioneering methods are being used to fund the creation of the new neighbourhood, providing much-needed homes for sale and rent to a wide range of working households on a 53-acre site once occupied by the landmark Arjo Wiggins paper mill. It is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs during construction.

Known as The Mill, the new development will include both affordable and open-market housing as well as new community facilities such as a village centre, attractive open spaces and architecture, riverside footpaths and cycle-ways.

Following the signing of a £10 million contract this week with Tirion’s development company, South Wales civil engineering firm, Alun Griffiths, has now moved onto the vast site to lay roads and services in preparation for the building of homes and community facilities next year.

It is estimated that this civil engineering work will take approximately 16 months and both developers and contractors will continue liaising closely with residents in neighbouring communities throughout this period.

The £100 million development has been made possible through a ground-breaking partnership between the Welsh Government, Principality Building Society and the Tirion Group, a not-for-profit enterprise which aims to use the same collaborative model to create high-quality residential schemes across the country.

Tirion has unlocked the potential of the long-disused paper mill site by acquiring and cleaning up the brownfield land with financial backing from Welsh Government and Principality, securing planning permission and then developing the site in partnership with a major housebuilder.

The project will provide a major contribution to regeneration of the area to the west of Cardiff city centre, as well as providing a wide range of property types for people working in the city.

Tirion Developments chairman John Lovell added:

“This is an ambitious project underpinned by an innovative financial model. It’s taken a great deal of effort to get to this stage and, now that work is underway here on this first development, we believe it will provide vital momentum that will help bring many other neglected industrial sites back to life and create vibrant communities where people will want to live.”

Peter Hughes, Managing Director of Principality Commercial, the commercial arm of Principality Building Society which provided loan funding for Tirion to develop infrastructure on the land, said:

“This is one of a number of developments that Principality has been involved with to support the local economy, stimulate the housing market in Wales and help people into homes. The start of work on site provides great encouragement to all concerned that their hard work is coming to fruition.”

The new neighbourhood will be managed by Cadwyn Housing Association. Its Chief Executive, Chris O’Meara said:

“We are delighted to be involved in this innovative project and to be working in partnership with the Tirion Group.. This project represents a unique opportunity to establish a brand new, thriving community in the heart of Cardiff and Cadwyn will play an important role in making this a reality.”