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Dai Davies - MP for Blaenau Gwent "The National Garden Festival programme was introduced in the 1980s by Michael Heseltine to regenerate Communities devastated by closure of traditional Industries such as Coal Mining and Steel Works.

The Ebbw Vale Garden Festival was the last and in terms of the number of visitors it attracted was the most successful with over two million people passing through the gates. Most of the other Festivals in places like Glasgow and Newcastle returned to dormant sites once the Festival Gates closed.

Because the Festival in Ebbw Vale was in such close proximity to the town a follow up plan of use for the site was always part of the regeneration project and even if the site had only been transformed from the then derelict Steel Works Hot Mill Site into a green field area it would have been worthwhile.

The legacy of the Festival is the shopping centre that now occupies the site which is welcome but I think it is a great pity that very little evidence left of what was a wonderful event. I regret that the success of the last National Garden Festival was not used as a spring board to setting up a tourist industry in the Borough which could have continued to attract people to our beautiful Valleys and shown the World the rich Industrial history our area can boast."

- Dai Davies, Member of Parliament for Blaenau Gwent