One of the largest land transfers in Powys County Council's history has been completed paving the way for an ambitious 'green-space' project in Newtown.
The transfer of more than 100 acres of open-space from the county council to Newtown Town Council will help strengthen and support sports, recreation, wildlife and the environment in the town has been completed with the signing of a hand-over lease.
A joint statement from the two councils and Open Newtown said the signing confirmed transfer of land on both sides of the River Severn, including Dolerw Park, the riverside sports pitches and Trehafren Hill transfer to the town council.
Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Property, said: "The county and town council have been talking about the future of a number of green spaces in the town for some considerable time. I am delighted we have finally transferred them to local control paving the way for an exciting 'green-space' project in the town.
"As a council we are taking an imaginative and innovative approach to managing property and land with the aim of turning a financial liability into a community focussed asset. Community organisations are frequently in a better position to take projects on because of their ability to obtain grant funding."
Newtown Town Councillor and Chair of the Economy and Environment Committee, Councillor Richard Edwards, said: "I welcome the signing of the leases between Powys County Council and Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council and then between the Town Council and Open Newtown.
"Although it has taken some time to get here, the agreement will release the £1.1 million of funds won by Open Newtown from the Big Lottery and the maintenance grant from the town council ensuring the ongoing protection and access of the parks for all users, with the opportunity to develop the amenities further, attracting greater use from residents and establishing an opportunity for tourism in the town which will help towards the regeneration of the town centre."
Open Newtown's Chair, Stuart Owen, said "We are delighted to have signed the 99-year lease, so that Open Newtown can proceed with the Big Lottery funded £1.1 million project and finally put into action our exciting plans for Newtown, which we have been working towards this past two years.
Open Newtown's plan is quite simple - we will enhance the natural asset base and enable new enterprise developments (private and social) to build businesses around Local Food, Events & Tourism, Sports & Recreation.
We are looking forward to working with Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council and all of our member organisations to make Newtown an economic driving force for Mid Wales, and a wonderful place to live."