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Bridgend is a town in the Bridgend County Borough in Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, 22 miles (35.4 km) west of the capital, Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

. The river crossed by the original bridge, which gave the town its name, is the River Ogmore
River Ogmore
The River Ogmore is a river in South Wales popular with anglers. It runs generally from north to south from the Ogmore Vale and Pentre, past Bridgend and Ogmore...

 but the River Ewenny also passes to the south of the town. Historically a part of Glamorgan
Glamorgan
Glamorgan or Glamorganshire is one of the thirteen historic counties and a former administrative county of Wales. It was originally an early medieval kingdom of varying boundaries known as Glywysing until taken over by the Normans as a lordship. Glamorgan is latterly represented by the three...

, Bridgend has greatly expanded in size since the early 1980s and had a population of 39,429 in 2001.

Prehistoric and Roman


Several prehistoric burial mounds have been found in the vicinity of Bridgend suggesting that the area was settled before Roman times. The A48
A48 road
The A48 is a major trunk road in Great Britain. It runs from the A40 at Highnam west of Gloucester to the A40 at Carmarthen. Before the construction of the M4 motorway and the first Severn Bridge in the mid 1960s it was the principal route into South Wales. For most of its journey through Wales,...

 between Bridgend and Cowbridge
Cowbridge
Cowbridge is a market town in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, approximately west of Cardiff. Cowbridge is twinned with Clisson in the Loire-Atlantique department in northwestern France.-Roman times:...

 has a portion, known locally as "Crack Hill", a Roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

. The Vale of Glamorgan
Vale of Glamorgan
The Vale of Glamorgan is a county borough in Wales; an exceptionally rich agricultural area, it lies in the southern part of Glamorgan, South Wales...

 would have been a natural low-level route west to the Roman fort and harbour at Neath
Neath
Neath is a town and community situated in the principal area of Neath Port Talbot, Wales, UK with a population of approximately 45,898 in 2001...

 (Nidum
Nidum
Nidum is a Roman fort found near the town of Neath, in Wales. Artifacts from the site are on permanent exhibition in the Neath Museum.-External links:*...

) from settlements in the east like Cardiff and Caerleon
Caerleon
Caerleon is a suburban village and community, situated on the River Usk in the northern outskirts of the city of Newport, South Wales. Caerleon is a site of archaeological importance, being the site of a notable Roman legionary fortress, Isca Augusta, and an Iron Age hill fort...

 (Isca).

The Norman invasion


After the Norman conquest of Anglo Saxon England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in 1066, the new establishment looked westwards in the following decades to create new seats for lords loyal to William The Conqueror. Groups of Norman barons arrived in Wales and in the south and east created what would later become the Welsh Marches
Welsh Marches
The Welsh Marches is a term which, in modern usage, denotes an imprecisely defined area along and around the border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods...

, while the north and west remained largely unconquered due to the harsh terrain.

At Coity, the local Welsh chieftain Morgan Gam already had a stronghold. Sometime in the 11th century Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 Lord Payn de Turberville approached Morgan to turn over control of Coity Castle
Castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 to de Turberville. Morgan Gam agreed, but only if de Turberville either fought Morgan for the land, or took Gam's daughter Sybil's hand in marriage. Turberville married Sybil and became Lord of Coity, rebuilding the castle.

In 1106, Newcastle Castle (on Newcastle Hill, overlooking the town centre) and Ogmore Castle
Ogmore Castle
Ogmore Castle is located near the village of Ogmore-by-Sea, south of the town of Bridgend in Glamorgan, South Wales. It is situated on the south bank of the River Ewenny and the east bank of the River Ogmore. Cowbridge is nearby. Its construction might have begun in 1106...

 (1116) were built by Robert Fitzhamon
Robert Fitzhamon
Robert Fitzhamon , or Robert FitzHamon, Sieur de Creully in the Calvados region and Torigny in the Manche region of Normandy, was Lord of Gloucester and the Norman conqueror of Glamorgan, southern Wales...

 and William de Londres respectively. About 2 miles (3.2 km) north-east of Ogmore Castle
Ogmore Castle
Ogmore Castle is located near the village of Ogmore-by-Sea, south of the town of Bridgend in Glamorgan, South Wales. It is situated on the south bank of the River Ewenny and the east bank of the River Ogmore. Cowbridge is nearby. Its construction might have begun in 1106...

, Maurice de Londres founded the fortified Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 Ewenny Priory
Ewenny Priory
Ewenny Priory, in Ewenny in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, was a monastery of the Benedictine order, founded in the 12th century.The building was unusual in having military-style defences. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the priory, like many of its kind, was converted into a private...

 in 1141.

These three castles provided a "defensive triangle" for the area. (A quadrilateral if you include Ewenny Priory.)

Early development


Bridgend itself developed at a ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

 on the River Ogmore
River Ogmore
The River Ogmore is a river in South Wales popular with anglers. It runs generally from north to south from the Ogmore Vale and Pentre, past Bridgend and Ogmore...

, which was on the main route between east and west Wales
West Wales
West Wales is the western area of Wales.Some definitions of West Wales include only Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, an area which historically comprised the Welsh principality of Deheubarth., an area called "South West Wales" in the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics....

. Just north of the town, there is the confluence of three rivers, the River Ogmore, the Llynfi River
River Llynfi
The River Llynfi, otherwise referred to as the Llynfi River or Afon Llynfi in Welsh , is one of three main tributaries of the River Ogmore or Afon Ogwr....

 and the Garw River. South of Bridgend the River Ewenny merges with the River Ogmore and flows into the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean...

. In the 15th century, a stone bridge was built to connect permanently each side of the River Ogmore (later rebuilt). Originally this bridge had four arches but in the 18th century a massive flood washed two of them away. The rest of the bridge still stands and still remains a focal point of the town, with aesthetic restoration taking place in 2006.

Bridgend grew rapidly into an agricultural town important to many of the local farmers. Although still small by today's standards it became an important market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

, a tag that remained with it well into the late 20th century.

The industrial era


The discovery of coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 in the South Wales Valleys
South Wales Valleys
The South Wales Valleys are a number of industrialised valleys in South Wales, stretching from eastern Carmarthenshire in the west to western Monmouthshire in the east and from the Heads of the Valleys in the north to the lower-lying, pastoral country of the Vale of Glamorgan and the coastal plain...

 north of Bridgend would have a massive impact on the town. The first coal mining
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

 operations opened north of Bridgend in the 17th century, with the Llynfi Valley being the first to be industrialised. Bridgend itself never had coal deposits and remained a market town for some time, but the valleys of the three rivers grew into an important part of the South Wales coalfield
South Wales Coalfield
The South Wales Coalfield is a large region of south Wales that is rich with coal deposits, especially the South Wales Valleys.-The coalfield area:...

s. Ironworks
Ironworks
An ironworks or iron works is a building or site where iron is smelted and where heavy iron and/or steel products are made. The term is both singular and plural, i.e...

 and brickworks (notably at Tondu
Tondu
Tondu is a village in Bridgend County Borough, Wales, located about north of the town of Bridgend.Tondu lies on the A4063 from Bridgend to Maesteg, and was established in the late 18th century as a coal mining village servicing the Parc Slip Colliery...

) were also established in the same period, by John Bedford
John Bedford
John Bedford , iron worker and industrialist.He was born in Birmingham, England to John and Sarah Bedford and followed his father into the iron trade to become a japanner in 1748....

, although the ironworks faltered after his death and ceased operating entirely in 1836.

The Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

 arrived and Bridgend was at the junction between the main London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 to Fishguard
Fishguard
Fishguard is a coastal town in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, with a population of 3,300 . The community of Fishguard and Goodwick had a population of 5043 at the 2001 census....

 line and the branch to the three valleys. Coal trains regularly sent coal down the valleys and with the opening of the Vale of Glamorgan railway, coal could be sent directly to port at Barry
Barry, Wales
Barry is a town and community in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales. Located along the northern coast of the Bristol Channel less than south-southwest of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, Barry is a seaside resort, with attractions including several beaches and the Barry Island Pleasure Park...

 or through other branch lines to Porthcawl
Porthcawl
Porthcawl is a town on the south coast of Wales in the county borough of Bridgend, 25 miles west of the capital city, Cardiff and 19 miles southeast of Swansea...

.

Bridgend itself saw several quarries
Quarry
A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, and gravel. They are often collocated with concrete and asphalt plants due to the requirement...

 open in and around the town centre, the remnants of which, (near Brackla) can still be seen today. An engine works was opened in the town and a larger farmers' market also opened in the town centre, where it remained until the 1970s.

In 1801, the population of Bridgend County was around 6000. By the beginning of the 20th century this had risen to 61,000. By this time Bridgend was a bustling market town with prosperous valleys to the north, a thriving community and good links to other towns and cities.

The Second World War


Bridgend played an important part during the Second World War. It was home to a prisoner of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 camp at Island Farm
Island Farm
Island Farm was a Prisoner of War Camp on the outskirts of the town of Bridgend, South Wales. It hosted a number of Axis prisoners, mainly German, and was the scene of the largest escape attempt by German POWs in Britain during World War II. Near the end of the war it became known as Special Camp XI...

 and a large munitions factory (ROF Bridgend
ROF Bridgend
ROF Bridgend, , located in Bridgend, South Wales, was one of the largest of sixteen World War II, UK government-owned, Royal Ordnance Factory munitions Filling Factories...

 — known as the "Admiralty") at Waterton, as well as a large underground munitions storage base at Brackla
Brackla
Brackla is a large housing estate in the east of Bridgend in Bridgend County Borough, Mid Glamorgan, Wales. It has a population of 10,113, making up nearly a quarter of Bridgend's population alone.-History:...

 (known as the 8 xs). This was an overspill of the Royal Arsenal
Royal Arsenal
The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, originally known as the Woolwich Warren, carried out armaments manufacture, ammunition proofing and explosives research for the British armed forces. It was sited on the south bank of the River Thames in Woolwich in south-east London, England.-Early history:The Warren...

, Woolwich
Woolwich
Woolwich is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.Woolwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created...

.

At its peak the Arsenal
Arsenal
An arsenal is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

 had 40,000 workers, many of them women. Large numbers of them were transported by bus from the Rhondda
Rhondda
Rhondda , or the Rhondda Valley , is a former coal mining valley in Wales, formerly a local government district, consisting of 16 communities built around the River Rhondda. The valley is made up of two valleys, the larger Rhondda Fawr valley and the smaller Rhondda Fach valley...

 and the valleys. At the time the Arsenal was the largest factory (employee-wise) ever in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 .

The factory complex had three sites in Bridgend, all linked together by a huge network of railways. There are many reminders of the factory sites left to this day Brackla Ordnance Site.

In 1945, 67 prisoners of war from Island Farm
Island Farm
Island Farm was a Prisoner of War Camp on the outskirts of the town of Bridgend, South Wales. It hosted a number of Axis prisoners, mainly German, and was the scene of the largest escape attempt by German POWs in Britain during World War II. Near the end of the war it became known as Special Camp XI...

 managed to escape through a tunnel although all were recaptured. While Bridgend was as important during the war as any other part of Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, and although it was photographed by the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

, it was never "blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

ed". This was largely due to the area's air pocket, which made bombing extremely hazardous for incoming planes. The close proximity of the P.O.W. camp at Island Farm
Island Farm
Island Farm was a Prisoner of War Camp on the outskirts of the town of Bridgend, South Wales. It hosted a number of Axis prisoners, mainly German, and was the scene of the largest escape attempt by German POWs in Britain during World War II. Near the end of the war it became known as Special Camp XI...

 may have been something of a deterrent as well. Unlike Bridgend, both Swansea
Swansea
Swansea is a coastal city and county in Wales. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands...

 and Cardiff did not escape such massive attacks but the area immediately around Bridgend did suffer bombing raids. Had Bridgend been bombed it would have likely been a massive blow to munitions supplies to the allies and could have changed the course of the war in the Axis' favour.

The Admiralty ceased full scale production in December 1945 after 5 years. Two of the munitions storage magazines in the Brackla ROF site were converted to a RGHQ (Regional Government Headquarters) during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 as part of the UK continuity of government
Continuity of government
Continuity of government is the principle of establishing defined procedures that allow a government to continue its essential operations in case of nuclear war or other catastrophic event....

 plans. It is now in the hands of a private company.

Post-war


Bridgend remained a solid market town after the war. In 1948, Newbridge Fields (a short distance from the town centre) hosted the 1948 National Eisteddfod.

In 1960, the River Ogmore burst its banks and flooded the town centre. Subsequent floods and extreme weather led the Welsh Water
Welsh Water
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is a company which supplies drinking water and wastewater services to most of Wales and parts of western England.It is regulated under the Water Industry Act 1991.-History:...

 Authority to develop concrete flood defence walls along the banks of the River Ogmore in the town centre. The town centre has not been flooded since. During this time Bridgend was chosen to become the headquarters for South Wales Police
South Wales Police
South Wales Police is one of the four territorial police forces in Wales. Its headquarters are based in Bridgend.Covering Wales' capital city, Cardiff, as well as Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea, and the western South Wales Valleys, it is the largest police force in Wales in terms of population,...

. This action was ideal as geographically, Bridgend stands equidistantly between both Swansea to the west and Cardiff to the east.

The Beeching cuts of the 1960s saw the loss of passenger rail links in the Vale of Glamorgan and to the northern valleys. The Vale of Glamorgan link to Barry
Barry, Wales
Barry is a town and community in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales. Located along the northern coast of the Bristol Channel less than south-southwest of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, Barry is a seaside resort, with attractions including several beaches and the Barry Island Pleasure Park...

 via Rhoose
Rhoose
Rhoose is a village and community located near the sea in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, near Barry.The village is the location of Cardiff International Airport, formerly RAF Rhoose, a Holiday Park , some shops, two public houses , Rhoose Social Club, and an active Surf Life Saving Club Rhoose is...

 was re-instated in June 2005.

In the 1970s, Bridgend would begin to see the catalyst of arguably its biggest growth period. The "missing section" of the M4 motorway
M4 motorway
The M4 motorway links London with South Wales. It is part of the unsigned European route E30. Other major places directly accessible from M4 junctions are Reading, Swindon, Bristol, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea...

 was constructed around the town, plans were afoot to change the Waterton Admiralty into an industrial estate, and the water supply was improved including new sewage treatment
Sewage treatment
Sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage, both runoff and domestic. It includes physical, chemical, and biological processes to remove physical, chemical and biological contaminants...

 works near Ogmore
Ogmore
Ogmore may refer to several places in south and southwest Wales:*Ogmore-by-Sea, a village in southwest Wales*River Ogmore, a river in south Wales*Ogmore Castle, a castle in south Wales*Ogmore , south Wales...

. Two major multinational corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s, the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 and Sony
Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

 set up factories in, or on the outskirts of the new Bridgend Industrial Estate
Bridgend Industrial Estate
Bridgend Industrial Estate is a large industrial park complex in Bridgend, Wales.It is made up of three adjoining Industrial Estates, being Waterton, Bridgend, and North Road and incorporating a retail park in Waterton.- History :...

 (former Waterton Arsenal).

During the 1980s with the development of the Brackla Housing Estate the future of Bridgend seemed bright. By the 1990s the estate had grown to become the largest privately-owned housing estate in Europe. Further new housing developments at Broadlands to the south-west of the town centre and the continuing expansion of Brackla to the north-east has caused Bridgend's population to swell dramatically. Due to this, traffic congestion and a lack of parking facilities within the town have become important issues in the area. In 1997 a new link road/bypass was built to link the town centre directly to the M4 motorway as well as redirect traffic around the town centre.

The closure of the Welsh coal industry brought mass-unemployment
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 and social problems to the valleys to the north. However, this led to a greater general standard of living for many in the areas previously dominated by coal mining but many of the problems stemming from unemployment, including drug-use and economic inactivity still remain today. By the late 1980s all coal mines in the area had ceased operations and the former mine workers either commuted or moved to central Bridgend to work at the newly-developed industrial estates. This was typical for much of South Wales which was at the time moving from a mining-based economy and into a new service, electronic, manufacturing and textile-based one.

A new Securicor
Securicor
Securicor plc was one of the United Kingdom's largest security businesses. It was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but merged with Group 4 Falck in 2004.-History:...

 operated prison (HM Parc Prison
Parc (HM Prison)
HM Prison Parc is a Category B men's private prison and Young Offenders Institution, located in Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan, Wales. Parc Prison is operated by G4S, and is the only privately operated prison in Wales.-History:...

) was built near Coity in the late 1990s. The prison opened in November 1997.

The McArthur Glen Designer Outlet opened in 1998.

The New Millennium


Objective 1 investment in regeneration and public realm improvements have led to the pedestrianisation of the town centre and the restoration of some buildings. Some local traders have argued that this has damaged trade due to a lack of access by taxis and the disabled. Car parking provision and pricing has also been a concern to retailers with calls for free or reduced price parking to increase town centre visits.

To counteract the dominance of Tesco
Tesco
Tesco plc is a global grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues and the second-largest measured by profits...

 in the area, Asda
Asda
Asda Stores Ltd is a British supermarket chain which retails food, clothing, general merchandise, toys and financial services. It also has a mobile telephone network, , Asda Mobile...

 were granted planning permission for a new superstore near the town centre. The store was opened on 31 March 2008 by the local MP, and players from Bridgend Ravens. Over 1500 customers were thought to have walked through the new doors to take a look around the new store.

In 2004 an award-winning new bus station was constructed and traffic movements around the town centre were altered. Local committees, together with the council started to use the pedestrianisation of the town centre to its advantage, culminating in several fairs including Continental Markets, Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic Festivals, a small Mardi-Gras and seasonal markets and events. Bridgend Council
Bridgend County Borough Council
Bridgend County Borough Council is the governing body for Bridgend County Borough, one of the Principal Areas of Wales.- Current composition :-Electoral divisions:...

 estimated in 2009 that these events have brought 900,000 visitors to the town and generated around £53million for the local economy.

Future developments



£2.5million of European Funding was used to create a "riverside cafe culture" by constructing a walkway along the River Ogmore
River Ogmore
The River Ogmore is a river in South Wales popular with anglers. It runs generally from north to south from the Ogmore Vale and Pentre, past Bridgend and Ogmore...

 which was completed in March 2009.

The Brackla Street Centre at Cheapside is due to get a multi-million pound redevelopment by Hawkstone Properties which will include new retail space, architectural improvements and apartments.

Construction on a 1500-home sustainable "village" at Parc Derwen near Coity is due to begin imminently. The scheme is a collaboration between several house-builders and public bodies including the National Assembly
National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales is a devolved assembly with power to make legislation in Wales. The Assembly comprises 60 members, who are known as Assembly Members, or AMs...

, and has been planned with strict guidelines regarding architecture and the environment. There are concerns from Coity in particular that this development may impact on their villages identity
Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

.

Studies have been carried out by the local council
Bridgend County Borough Council
Bridgend County Borough Council is the governing body for Bridgend County Borough, one of the Principal Areas of Wales.- Current composition :-Electoral divisions:...

 with a view to improving retail provision in the town centre. Attracting bigger high-street chains to the town, such as Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer
Marks and Spencer plc is a British retailer headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, with over 700 stores in the United Kingdom and over 300 stores spread across more than 40 countries. It specialises in the selling of clothing and luxury food products...

, Next & Debenhams
Debenhams
Debenhams plc is a British retailer operating under a department store format in the UK, Ireland and Denmark, and franchise stores in other countries. The Company was founded in the eighteenth century as a single store in London and has now grown to around 160 shops...

 is seen as key to this.

At Elder Yard, a derelict Grade II-listed building in the heart of the town centre is due to be converted to a restaurant and provide the impetus for other improvements there including a public courtyard and extra retail and leisure provision.

Proposed developments


Two schemes linked to sport have emerged in 2009, both promising to significantly improve Bridgend. These developments have been prompted by the Crusaders wishing to build a new stadium
New Bridgend Stadium
New Bridgend Stadium is a proposed stadium in Bridgend, Wales. It would be a 15,000 seater multi-sports stadium.While the driving force behind the proposal are the Crusaders, their Chief Executive David Thompson indicated the stadium would be used for several sports saying "We hope to go into...

 in the town.

The first is a "sports village" at Island Farm
Island Farm
Island Farm was a Prisoner of War Camp on the outskirts of the town of Bridgend, South Wales. It hosted a number of Axis prisoners, mainly German, and was the scene of the largest escape attempt by German POWs in Britain during World War II. Near the end of the war it became known as Special Camp XI...

 by local company HD Limited. It will provide a 15000-seater stadium for Crusaders, and smaller stadia for Bridgend Ravens and Bridgend Town
Bridgend Town F.C.
Bridgend Town F.C. is a Welsh football club that currently play in the Welsh Football League First Division. They are based in Bridgend in south Wales. Historically, their local rivals were Maesteg Park who disbanded in 2009...

. In addition to this, parkland, an extension to Bridgend Science Park, an indoor sports/training centre, a specialist tennis centre and facilities for other sports such as boxing. An outline application was lodged with Bridgend County Borough Council
Bridgend County Borough Council
Bridgend County Borough Council is the governing body for Bridgend County Borough, one of the Principal Areas of Wales.- Current composition :-Electoral divisions:...

 in September 2009.

The second scheme is at a brownfield site to the north east of the town centre at Brackla
Brackla
Brackla is a large housing estate in the east of Bridgend in Bridgend County Borough, Mid Glamorgan, Wales. It has a population of 10,113, making up nearly a quarter of Bridgend's population alone.-History:...

. It is being developed by Wigan-based developers Greenbank Partnerships, who developed Leigh Sports Village
Leigh Sports Village
Leigh Sports Village is an £50 million multi-use sports, retail and housing development in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England. Leigh Sports Village plays host to three of the towns sporting clubs. Amateur rugby league club, Leigh East and amateur athletics club, Leigh Harriers occupy dedicated...

 and Olympian Homes. Their scheme includes a stadium, hotel, leisure facilities and retail outlets. They hope to regenerate areas of the town centre also.

The site has also been earmarked for the creation of a Business Park by the Welsh Assembly.

Politics


The local Member of Parliament is Madeleine Moon
Madeleine Moon
Madeleine Moon is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Bridgend since 2005, succeeding Win Griffiths, who retired from politics.- Early life :...

 (Labour), the Welsh Assembly Member for Bridgend is Carwyn Jones
Carwyn Jones
Carwyn Howell Jones is a Welsh politician and the First Minister of Wales. The third official to lead the Welsh Government, Jones has been Assembly Member for Bridgend since 1999. In the coalition government of Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru, he was appointed Counsel General for Wales and Leader of...

 AM (Labour) along with regional AMs (South West Wales) Byron Davies
Byron Davies
Henry Byron Davies is a Conservative Party politician and was elected as a South Wales West regional Assembly Member in the National Assembly for Wales at the May 2011 election.-Background:...

 AM (Conservative), Suzy Davies
Suzy Davies (Welsh politician)
Suzy Davies is a Welsh Conservative Party politician, and first on the Conservative list for the region of South Wales West in the National Assembly for Wales election in May 2011...

 AM (Conservative), Bethan Jenkins
Bethan Jenkins
Bethan Jenkins AM , is a Welsh politician, born in Aberdare, Wales, who has represented the South Wales West Region for Plaid Cymru as a Member of the National Assembly for Wales since 2007.-Background:...

 AM (Plaid Cymru) and Peter Black
Peter Black (Welsh politician)
Peter Black is a Welsh Liberal Democrat politician, and Member of the Welsh Assembly for the South Wales West Region.-Background:...

 AM (Liberal Democrat).

Bridgend County Borough Council
Bridgend County Borough Council
Bridgend County Borough Council is the governing body for Bridgend County Borough, one of the Principal Areas of Wales.- Current composition :-Electoral divisions:...

 is led by The Labour Party, who secured victory in the May 2008 Local Elections, ousting the Rainbow Alliance. The current leader of the council is Cllr Mel Nott and the current mayor of the county borough is Cllr Chris Michaelides.

The current Youth Mayor of Bridgend County Borough is Abigail Richards.

The council is currently made up of 26 Labour councillors, 14 Independents, 7 Liberal Democrats, 6 Conservatives and 1 Plaid Cymru.

Economy


Bridgend's Travel to Work Area
Travel to Work Area
A Travel to Work Area or TTWA is a statistical tool used by UK Government agencies and local authorities, especially by the Department for Work and Pensions and Job Centres, to indicate an area where the population would generally commute to a larger town, city or conurbation for the purposes of...

 has expanded since 1991 and the 2001-based area now incorporates the western part of the Vale of Glamorgan
Vale of Glamorgan
The Vale of Glamorgan is a county borough in Wales; an exceptionally rich agricultural area, it lies in the southern part of Glamorgan, South Wales...

.

Bridgend recovered quickly from the decline of traditional industries, particularly coal-mining due to other alternative forms of employment. Wages are generally higher here than in other parts of the South Wales valleys
South Wales Valleys
The South Wales Valleys are a number of industrialised valleys in South Wales, stretching from eastern Carmarthenshire in the west to western Monmouthshire in the east and from the Heads of the Valleys in the north to the lower-lying, pastoral country of the Vale of Glamorgan and the coastal plain...

. There are large industrial estates at Bridgend and Waterton (formerly Waterton Admiralty) which host a number of small scale and multi-national companies, mainly manufacturing.

Ford
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

's engine plant near Waterton employs around 2000 workers and is one of the area's largest employers, working on range of low carbon "EcoBoost" engines. The plant has won praise from Peter Mandelson
Peter Mandelson
Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson, PC is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Hartlepool from 1992 to 2004, served in a number of Cabinet positions under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and was a European Commissioner...

 who in January 2009 described it as "a top-of-the-class, world-beating engine production plant." Ford has invested £315million in the Bridgend plant over 5 years.

There are more successes, IT Consultancy Group Logica opened an office in Bridgend (which has since been expanded). German retailer Lidl
Lidl
Lidl is a discount supermarket chain based in Germany that operates over 7,200 stores across Europe. The company's full name is Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG...

 has also set up its Welsh headquarters and distribution site at Waterton. Zoobiotic, a company specialising in maggot therapy
Maggot therapy
Maggot therapy is a type of biotherapy involving the intentional introduction of live, disinfected maggots into the non-healing skin and soft tissue wound of a human or animal for the purpose of cleaning out the...

, has its facility near Bridgend town centre. Also, since 1983, famous dart board producer Winmau
Winmau
Winmau is a British manufacturer of dartboards, other darts equipment and title sponsor of the oldest darts tournament still running, the Winmau World Masters....

 has based its global headquarters in Bridgend.

Other notable companies with a presence include bio-technology companies Biotrace, Biomet
Biomet
Biomet, Inc. is one of the world leading medical device manufacturer located in the Warsaw, Indiana business cluster. The company specializes in reconstructive products for hips, knees and shoulders, fixation devices, orthopedic support devices, dental implants, spinal implants and operating room...

, Bio-Tec Services International & Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics
Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics is a Johnson & Johnson company that makes in vitro diagnostics products. It was created following Johnson and Johnson's acquisition of Eastman Kodak's Clinical Diagnostics Division in 1994 , which was then merged with Ortho Diagnostic Systems in 1997...

. Stationery company Staedtler
Staedtler
Staedtler Mars GmbH & Co. KG is a German fine writing instruments company and one of the world's leading manufacturers and suppliers of writing, artist, and engineering drawing instruments. The firm was founded by J.S. Staedtler in 1835 and produces a large variety of writing instruments, including...

, engineering consultancy Skanska
Skanska
Skanska AB, is a multinational construction and development company based in Sweden, where it also is the largest construction company. The company's head office is in Solna, north of Stockholm.-History:...

, aeronautic maintenance and project management company TES Aviation and home accessories manufacturer Dekor plc also have significant offices and facilities in the town. The Semiconductor Photomask Company, Photronics Inc
Photronics Inc
Photronics, Inc is a semiconductor photomask manufacturer. It was a third largest photomask supplier at 2009- History :Founded 1969 at Danbury, Connecticut as "Photronic Labs, Inc." It has manufacturing facilities at USA , Europe , Taiwan , and one in Korea and in Singapore.-Customers:20 largest...

, has had a manufacturing operation for the last 20 years at the Ewenny Science Park.

However, there have been significant economic blows to Bridgend including Sony
Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

's closure of the Bridgend plant and downsizing of the Pencoed plant. Other manufacturers to have pulled out of the area include Wrigley Company
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
The William Wrigley Jr. Company is a company headquartered in the Wrigley Building in Near North Side, Chicago, Illinois. The company was founded on April 1, 1891, originally selling products such as soap and baking powder. In 1892, William Wrigley, Jr., the company's founder, began packaging...

 and Dairy Farmers of Britain
Dairy Farmers of Britain
Dairy Farmers of Britain was a UK co-operative milk processor that bought milk directly from farmers and had several factories producing milk and cheese products for sale in various regions throughout the UK...

 which went into receivership in June 2009.

Bridgend (like Wales in general) suffers from a lack of high-wage service jobs, however the retail sector in particular provides a large proportion of employment in the town and borough. In 2008, 13,100 people in Bridgend County were working in construction and manufacturing while 42,900 were working in the service sector StatsWales 2008 employment report.

Sub-regional GVA
Gross value added
Gross Value Added ' is a measure in economics of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy...

 for the Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot NUTS3 region stood at £12,402 per capita in 2006 ($23,191 at June 2006 values). This figure represents 65% of the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 GVA per capita, 87% of Welsh
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 GVA per capita (£14,226) and 103% of West Wales & The Valleys GVA per capita (£12,071).

Gross disposable income for Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot in 2006 stood at £3,338million or £12,379 per head. This is 88% of UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 per head figure (£14,053) and slightly above the Welsh per head figure (£12,366).

In 2008, the average full time gross weekly earnings in Swansea, Bridgend & Neath Port Talbot was £484.20 (£531.70 for men, £426.10 for women). This is 97% of the Welsh average (£498.10).

In the first half of 2009, unemployment in Bridgend County Borough stood at 8.9% and economic inactivity stood at 21.4%.

The percentage of workless households in December 2008 stood at 20.6% compared to the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 average of 16% and the Welsh
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 average of 18.8%.

Transport



Bridgend railway station
Bridgend railway station
Bridgend railway station is a mainline railway station serving the town of Bridgend, South Wales. It is located approximately halfway between Cardiff Central and Swansea at the point where the Maesteg Line diverges from the South Wales Main Line, and is the western terminus of the Vale of...

 has regular services to Cardiff Central
Cardiff Central railway station
Cardiff Central railway station is a major railway station on the South Wales Main Line in Cardiff, Wales.It is the largest and busiest station in Wales and one of the major stations of the British rail network, the tenth busiest station in the United Kingdom outside of London , based on 2007/08...

, Bristol Parkway and London Paddington to the east; Neath
Neath
Neath is a town and community situated in the principal area of Neath Port Talbot, Wales, UK with a population of approximately 45,898 in 2001...

, Port Talbot Parkway, Swansea
Swansea
Swansea is a coastal city and county in Wales. Swansea is in the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands...

 and West Wales
West Wales
West Wales is the western area of Wales.Some definitions of West Wales include only Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, an area which historically comprised the Welsh principality of Deheubarth., an area called "South West Wales" in the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics....

 to the west; and Maesteg
Maesteg
Maesteg is a town and community in Bridgend County Borough, Wales. Maesteg lies at the northernmost end of the Llynfi Valley, close to the border with Neath Port Talbot. In 2001, Maesteg had a population of 17,859, but it is now at an estimate of 20,000....

 to the north. There are also services to Manchester Piccadilly. Bridgend is the western terminus of the Vale of Glamorgan Line
Vale of Glamorgan Line
The Vale of Glamorgan Line is a commuter railway line in South Wales from Cardiff to Bridgend via Barry, Rhoose and Llantwit Major. There are also branch lines to Penarth and Barry Island. As its names suggests, the line runs through the Vale of Glamorgan....

 which reopened to passenger traffic in 2005.

Wildmill railway station
Wildmill railway station
Wildmill railway station is a railway station serving the district of Wildmill, Bridgend, South Wales. It located on the Maesteg Line from Cardiff via Bridgend.The station was opened by British Rail on 16 November 1992 but closed the same day...

, approximately 1 miles (1.6 km) north of Bridgend railway station
Bridgend railway station
Bridgend railway station is a mainline railway station serving the town of Bridgend, South Wales. It is located approximately halfway between Cardiff Central and Swansea at the point where the Maesteg Line diverges from the South Wales Main Line, and is the western terminus of the Vale of...

 serves the estates of Wildmill, Pendre and Litchard and is on the Bridgend-Maesteg branch line
Maesteg Line
The Maesteg Line is commuter rail line in South Wales from Cardiff to Bridgend and Maesteg. The line follows the South Wales Main Line as far as Bridgend, where it then diverges to continue to Maesteg.-History:...

. A park and ride station at Brackla, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south-east of Bridgend railway station
Bridgend railway station
Bridgend railway station is a mainline railway station serving the town of Bridgend, South Wales. It is located approximately halfway between Cardiff Central and Swansea at the point where the Maesteg Line diverges from the South Wales Main Line, and is the western terminus of the Vale of...

 is planned and is due to be constructed once capacity improvements have been made to the South Wales Main Line
South Wales Main Line
The South Wales Main Line , originally known as the London, Bristol and South Wales Direct Railway or simply as the Bristol and South Wales Direct Railway, is a branch of the Great Western Main Line in Great Britain...

. Services to a new railway station in Llanharan
Llanharan railway station
Llanharan railway station serves the village of Llanharan in Wales. Funded in part by SEWTA and at a cost of £4.3m, it opened in December 2007.A former station was on the site until 1964, when it was closed under the Beeching Cuts...

 began in December 2007.

Bridgend bus station
Bridgend bus station
Bridgend bus station is an 11-stand bus station situated in the town centre of Bridgend, South Wales.After a £2.3 million redevelopment, it opened in November 2004....

 has services to urban and rural areas in South Wales. Most services are operated by First Cymru
First Cymru
First Cymru Buses Ltd. is a provider of public transport bus services in South Wales. First Cymru was formed from a number of privatised former bus companies, including South Wales Transport. Its headquarters are in Penlan, Swansea...

.

A new east-west cycle route has been constructed from Brackla through to Broadlands and into Cefn Glas. Most roads are safe enough to cycle on although at peak times, most areas near roundabouts in particular are hazardous without due care. Bridgend is on the National Cycle Route and there are off-road spurs from the Celtic Trail to the town centre and a community route in the Ogmore Valley
River Ogmore
The River Ogmore is a river in South Wales popular with anglers. It runs generally from north to south from the Ogmore Vale and Pentre, past Bridgend and Ogmore...

. Glyncorrwg
Glyncorrwg
Glyncorrwg is a village in Britain. It is set in the Afan Valley, in south Wales.Glyncorrwg is also the name of an electoral ward and a community covering the village and surrounding countryside, in Neath Port Talbot county borough.- History :...

 and the Afan Valley
Afan Valley
The Afan Valley is a valley that encompasses the upper reaches of the River Afan in Port Talbot, South Wales. The valley is traversed by the A4107 Afan Valley Road. Settlements in the area include Cwmafan, Pwyll-y-glaw and Cymer.- External links :**...

 about 12 miles (19.3 km) north of Bridgend near Maesteg
Maesteg
Maesteg is a town and community in Bridgend County Borough, Wales. Maesteg lies at the northernmost end of the Llynfi Valley, close to the border with Neath Port Talbot. In 2001, Maesteg had a population of 17,859, but it is now at an estimate of 20,000....

 is famed for its mountain bike
Mountain bike
A mountain bike or mountain bicycle is a bicycle created for off-road cycling. This activity includes traversing of rocks and washouts, and steep declines,...

 trails, considered amongst the best in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.

For scheduled and chartered air travel for the county, Bridgend is served by Cardiff International Airport
Cardiff International Airport
Cardiff Airport is an international airport serving Cardiff, and the rest of South, Mid and West Wales. Around 1.4 million passengers passed through the airport in 2010....

, to which there are direct rail
Rhoose Cardiff International Airport railway station
Rhoose Cardiff International Airport railway station is a railway station that serves the village of Rhoose and Cardiff Airport. A dedicated shuttle bus connects this station with the airport terminal building....

 and bus services.

Education


Bridgend town has 2 comprehensive school
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

s, Brynteg Comprehensive and Bryntirion Comprehensive. Brynteg generally serves the area east of the River Ogmore, while Bryntirion serves the areas west of the river. Brynteg is renowned for its rugby alumni, including J.P.R. Williams, Rob Howley
Rob Howley
Robert Howley is a former Welsh rugby union footballer. He was considered one of the greatest ever scrum-halves and gained 59 caps for Wales, 22 of them as captain.Howley made his Wales debut in February 1996...

, Gavin Henson
Gavin Henson
Gavin Lloyd Henson is a Welsh rugby union player, born in Pencoed, South Wales, currently playing for Cardiff Blues.He attracted much media attention as part of a Wales national team which achieved Grand Slams in the Six Nations Championship in 2005 and 2008...

, Mike Hall and Dafydd James
Dafydd James
Dafydd Rhys James is a former Welsh international rugby union footballer who plays on the wing or at centre. He toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2001. He has earned 45 caps for Wales and three for the British & Irish Lions...

 with many talented athletes in other local schools joining Brynteg for the opportunities offered by playing for the school within the Welsh School Rugby Union Leagues. The school has produced several Welsh rugby union internationals but prominent athletes in other sports have also attended, including top female cyclist Nicole Cooke
Nicole Cooke
Nicole Denise Cooke, MBE is a Welsh professional road bicycle racer for the Mario Cipollini - Giordana Team team, and is the current Olympic road race champion.-Early life:...

. Bryntirion has also produced its fair share of sporting talent, notably Gareth Llewellyn
Gareth Llewellyn
Gareth Llewellyn was born 27 February 1969 in St. David's Hospital Cardiff whilst his father was serving in Cardiff with the Army, is a Welsh rugby union player who gained a record 92 caps for Wales as a lock. His record for Wales caps has since been surpassed by Gareth Thomas, Colin Charvis,...

 and triathlete Marc Jenkins
Marc Jenkins
Marc Jenkins is a Welsh triathlete from Bridgend.Jenkins competed at the second Olympic triathlon at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He was the last man to finish, because of a collision during the cycling leg that left his bicycle unusable. Rather than quit, he ran the two remaining kilometers with...

. Bryntirion also has a reputation in the area for the quality of its musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 productions.

There are 4 other comprehensive schools in the county, two of which are Archbishop McGrath Catholic Comprehensive and Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen. Archbishop McGrath School covers the whole of the county, and moved to a new campus at Brackla
Brackla
Brackla is a large housing estate in the east of Bridgend in Bridgend County Borough, Mid Glamorgan, Wales. It has a population of 10,113, making up nearly a quarter of Bridgend's population alone.-History:...

 in 2011, while Y Dderwen, covering the Ogmore and Garw valleys, is the result of the amalglamation of Ogmore Comprehensive and Ynysawdre Comprehensive Schools, is currently running on a split-site basis with plans to move to a new multi-million pound building in 2013 on the Tondu campus (Ynysawdre). This was made possible when Archbishop moved, as Ynysawdre and Archbishop used to share a campus. The other two comprehensive schools in the nearby town of Maesteg
Maesteg
Maesteg is a town and community in Bridgend County Borough, Wales. Maesteg lies at the northernmost end of the Llynfi Valley, close to the border with Neath Port Talbot. In 2001, Maesteg had a population of 17,859, but it is now at an estimate of 20,000....

, these being Ysgol Maesteg School and the Welsh-medium school Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd
Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd
Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd is the borough of Bridgend's first and only Welsh medium secondary school. The school opened its doors on the 3 September 2008 on the site of the former Maesteg Comprehensive Upper School in Llangynwyd....

 Llangynwyd opened in 2008, and was made possible when Maesteg moved to its new campus, as Llangynwyd is based in the old "upper school" campus of Maesteg.

There are at least 9 primary, junior school
Junior school
A junior school is a type of school which caters for children, often between the ages of 7 and 11.-Australia:In Australia, a junior school is usually a part of a private school that educates children between the ages of 5 and 12....

s and infant school
Infant school
An Infant school is a term used primarily in the United Kingdom for school for children between the ages of four and seven years. It is usually a small school serving a particular locality....

s in the town, though several of the junior and infant schools have merged to form single primary schools in recent years.

There are also 2 special educational needs schools; Heronsbridge School which is linked with Brynteg Comprehensive school and at the back of Bridgend College. It is for students of a Primary school age and Comprehensive school age with severe learning disabilities. Another school, Ysgol Bryn Castell, offers education for Key stage 1-4 students with moderate to severe learning disabilities and is linked with Bryntirion Comprehensive school and has also recently opened up a satellite unit at Cynffig Comprehensive school located a few miles west of Bridgend.

Bridgend College
Bridgend College
Bridgend College is a further education college based in Bridgend, Wales. Founded in 1928 as the Bridgend Mining and Technical Institute, the college today has four campuses in Bridgend, Pencoed and Maesteg....

 is the town's further education
Further education
Further education is a term mainly used in connection with education in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is post-compulsory education , that is distinct from the education offered in universities...

 and higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 provider which primarily offers vocational courses and GCSEs. It attracts school-leavers from as far as Swansea and Cardiff. It offers a range of higher education courses such as PGCE
Postgraduate Certificate in Education
The Postgraduate Certificate in Education is a one-year course in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for undergraduate degree holders that allows them to train to be a teacher....

, Higher National Certificate
Higher National Certificate
A Higher National Certificate is a higher education qualification in the United Kingdom.In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the HNC is a BTEC qualification awarded by Edexcel, and in Scotland, an HNC is a Higher National awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority...

 and Higher National Diploma
Higher National Diploma
A Higher National Diploma is a higher education qualification in the United Kingdom. This qualification can be used to gain entry into universities, and is considered equivalent to the first or second year of a university degree course....

 in various subjects and masters programmes on its Queens Road campus on Bridgend Industrial Estate. These are mainly franchised from the University of Glamorgan
University of Glamorgan
The University of Glamorgan is a university based in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales with campuses in Treforest, Glyntaff, Merthyr Tydfil, Tyn y Wern and Cardiff...

 and University of Wales, Newport
University of Wales, Newport
The University of Wales, Newport is a university based in Newport, South Wales. The university has two campuses; Caerleon on the northern outskirts of the city and a £35 million campus on the banks of the River Usk in Newport city centre opened in 2011...

. There is also the Pencoed Campus with a focus on Sport, Animal Care and Horticulture and Maesteg Campus that offers more community based programmes.

Bridgend College has its own residence for students aged 16+ with learning difficulties and physical disabilities who come to the college from all over Wales.

Health


Since the closure and redevelopment of Bridgend General Hospital in the 1990s, acute-care and accident and emergency services have been provided by the Princess of Wales Hospital
Princess of Wales Hospital
The Princess of Wales Hospital, based in Bridgend, Wales, is a major acute secondary care district general hospital.Facilities include:*Accident & emergency,*mental health,*gynaecology,*surgery,*palliative care, and...

. GP's surgeries are scattered throughout the town, as are dentists. There is also a large psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

, Glanrhyd Hospital, near Pen-y-Fai
Pen-y-Fai
Pen-y-Fai is a village in the county borough of Bridgend, Wales falling within the Bridgend electoral ward area.- Amenities :It has a population of about 2,000, one village shop, a chapel and All Saints parish church . It also has a pub, the Pheasant, and was once a village for employees of the...

.

Shopping and visits


In the town centre the main retail shopping areas are the Rhiw Shopping Centre (containing Bridgend Market), Adare Street, Caroline Street, Derwen Road, Nolton Street, Queen Street, Dunraven Place, Market Street and Cheapside (home of the Brackla Street Centre and ASDA store). These areas are within close proximity to the bus and railway stations as are pay and display car parks.

Most high street chain store
Chain store
Chain stores are retail outlets that share a brand and central management, and usually have standardized business methods and practices. These characteristics also apply to chain restaurants and some service-oriented chain businesses. In retail, dining and many service categories, chain businesses...

 names can be found in and around the town centre, which has suffered during 2009 due to the economic climate. Large gaps have been left in the town centre shopping area, as have many other UK towns. During the first two months of 2009, seven high street shops have closed their doors, most notably Woolworths
Woolworths Group
Woolworths Group plc was a listed British company that owned the high-street retail chain, Woolworths, as well as other brands such as the entertainment distributor Entertainment UK and book and resource distributor Bertram Books...

.

There are out-of-town shopping areas at Waterton, near the A473
A473 road
The A473 is a main road linking Pontypridd with Bridgend in Wales.The route begins in Upper Boat just south of Pontypridd, at the junction with the A470 and A4054 roads...

, on Cowbridge Road and at The Derwen, Junction 36 of the M4, home to the Bridgend Designer Outlet.

Nightlife


There are numerous public house
Public house
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...

s and restaurants within the town centre. There is only one specific nightclub
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

, Sax formerly Elements and before that Lava-Ignite, although a few of the pubs double up as nightclubs or specifically create a nightclub atmosphere, notably The Roof & The Phoenix (formerly called Barracuda and Tuskers).

Bridgend town centre is generally safe although there are incidences of alcohol-fuelled binge drinking
Binge drinking
Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is the modern epithet for drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. It is a kind of purposeful drinking style that is popular in several countries worldwide,...

 anti-social behaviour
Anti-social behaviour
Anti-social behaviour is behaviour that lacks consideration for others and that may cause damage to society, whether intentionally or through negligence, as opposed to pro-social behaviour, behaviour that helps or benefits society...

 like any other British town of Bridgend's size. CCTV
Closed-circuit television
Closed-circuit television is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors....

 is in operation throughout the town centre and there is usually a South Wales Police
South Wales Police
South Wales Police is one of the four territorial police forces in Wales. Its headquarters are based in Bridgend.Covering Wales' capital city, Cardiff, as well as Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Swansea, and the western South Wales Valleys, it is the largest police force in Wales in terms of population,...

 presence of some form. Since July 2007, the streets of Bridgend are also patrolled on Friday and Saturday evenings by Street Pastors
Street pastors
Street Pastors is an interdenominational network of Christian charities operating across the UK and world wide.Street Pastors is an initiative of Ascension Trust...

, an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets.

In December 2008, Bridgend Council
Bridgend County Borough Council
Bridgend County Borough Council is the governing body for Bridgend County Borough, one of the Principal Areas of Wales.- Current composition :-Electoral divisions:...

 introduced its first alcohol-free zone, restricting the consumption of alcohol to pubs, clubs and other licenced premises in the town centre to help address alcohol-related issues.

Music


Bridgend is home to plenty of punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, indie rock
Indie rock
Indie rock is a genre of alternative rock that originated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1980s. Indie rock is extremely diverse, with sub-genres that include lo-fi, post-rock, math rock, indie pop, dream pop, noise rock, space rock, sadcore, riot grrrl and emo, among others...

, heavy metal
Heavy metal music
Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the Midlands of the United Kingdom and the United States...

 & emo
Emo
Emo is a style of rock music and its associated subcultureEmo may also refer to:- Businesses :* Emo , an Irish oil company and filling station chain* Emo Speedway, a racetrack in Emo, Ontario...

 music acts that are playing the clubs of the area, making it a prominent part of the South Wales music scene. Metalcore band Bullet for My Valentine
Bullet for My Valentine
Bullet for My Valentine are a Welsh heavy metal band from Bridgend, formed in 1998. The band is composed of Matt Tuck , Michael Paget , Jason James , and Michael Thomas . They were formed under the name Jeff Killed John and started their music career by covering songs by Metallica and Nirvana...

 and bands like Funeral for a Friend
Funeral for a Friend
Funeral for a Friend are a Welsh post-hardcore band, from Bridgend. Formed 2001, they have released five studio albums, seven EPs, sixteen singles, one DVD, and one compilation album.-Formation and Early Years:...

, Lostprophets
Lostprophets
Lostprophets is a Welsh rock band from Pontypridd, formed in 1997. Founded by vocalist Ian Watkins, bassist Mike Lewis, drummer Mike Chiplin and guitarist Lee Gaze, they were originally a side-project to hardcore punk band Public Disturbance. To date, Lostprophets have released four studio...

, Hondo Maclean
Hondo Maclean
Hondo Maclean was a post-hardcore/metalcore outfit from Bridgend, Wales. On February 16, 2007 they announced that they had stopped the band but would start a new project called The Future, who have also since split up...

, The Automatic
The Automatic
The Automatic , are a Welsh rock band. The band is composed of Robin Hawkins on vocals, bass and synthesizers, James Frost on guitar, synthesizers, backing vocals and occasional bass, Iwan Griffiths on drums and Paul Mullen on vocals, guitar and synthesizer - since 2007...

, People In Planes began their careers by playing venues in Bridgend such as the local Recreation Centre, The Football Club and The Tollhouse. There are several smaller venues in and around the town centre including The New Angel Inn (formerly PS Bar and The Angel Inn), The Railway Inn, Barracudas and Sapphires (formerly known as Carey's), which all host a number of open-mic nights. Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams, is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, bassist, producer, actor and photographer. Adams has won dozens of awards and nominations, including 20 Juno Awards among 56 nominations. He has also received 15 Grammy Award nominations including a win for Best Song Written...

 played to a 15,000 crowd at Brewery Field
Brewery Field
Brewery Field is a 8,000 capacity sports stadium in Bridgend, Wales 1,100 of which is seated capacity...

 in the town centre on 2 June 2006. The Recreation Centre has also hosted worldwide acts such as Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy is an American rock band from Wilmette, Illinois, formed in 2001. The band consists of vocalist, guitarist and composer Patrick Stump, bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley. The band released five studio albums from 2003–2008...

 and Bring Me the Horizon
Bring Me the Horizon
Bring Me the Horizon are a British metalcore band from Sheffield, Yorkshire, who formed in 2004. Bring Me the Horizon constits of Oliver Sykes as the lead vocalist, lead guitarist Lee Malia, rhythm guitarist Jona Weinhofen, bassist Matt Kean and drummer Matt Nicholls...

.
The latest new venue is HOBOS which has already seen many acts passing through and had the likes of Funeral For A friend and Kids In Glass Houses' members DJ'ing there.

Eisteddfodau


Bridgend hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1948. The 1998 Eisteddfod was hosted in the nearby town of Pencoed, an outskirting suburb of Bridgend.

Media


Bridgend has its own commercial radio station: 106.3 Bridge FM
106.3 Bridge FM
Bridge FM is the local commercial radio station broadcasting in south Wales' Bridgend County Borough and the surrounding areas on a frequency of 106.3 MHz....

, and is the location of Internet based radio station Celtica radio
Celtica Radio
Celtica Radio International is an independent commercial radio station which uses the Internet as its transmission platform broadcasting in both MP3 and Real Media formats. The station has its head office based in Bridgend, Wales, and provides a broad mix of programming available worldwide in...

. The main local newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

 is The Glamorgan Gazette, although a free newspaper, The Recorder, has increased its circulation in recent times. Around Town Magazine is the free local lifestyle magazine for Bridgend.

Twinning


Bridgend has twinning
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 arrangements with: Langenau
Langenau
Langenau is a town in the district of Alb-Donau in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. It is situated 14 km northeast of Ulm.-Transport:Langenau is located directly on the Autobahn A7 and near the A8...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 Villenave-d'Ornon
Villenave-d'Ornon
Villenave d'Ornon is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.It is the fourth-largest suburb of the city of Bordeaux, and is located to its south side...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...



At the last attempt, no delegates from Langenau were found to undertake a cultural swap with Bridgend.

Attempts to twin Bridgend with the city of Tripoli
Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 have sparked debate.

Parks and Green Spaces


Bryngarw Country Park
Bryngarw Country Park
Bryngarw Country Park is made up of 48 hectares and is situated on the west bank of the Afon Garw, at the mouth of the Garw Valley in the Bridgend County Borough, Wales, UK....

 is the largest (113 acres) Country Park in the Borough. It offers many amenity based areas including an adventure play area, barbecue and picnic areas, car park, cafe, visitor centre and toilets; as well as a patchwork of woodland
Woodland
Ecologically, a woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of shrubs and herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of...

, grassland
Grassland
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants . However, sedge and rush families can also be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica...

 and freshwater
Freshwater
Fresh water is naturally occurring water on the Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and...

 habitats. Bryngarw Country Park is a Grade II listed Historic Park and Garden and has been designated a Green Flag Park since 2010. The Oriental Garden in the park has been noted as a 'Visit Wales Sustainable Tourism, Historic Gardens Centre of Excellence’ by the 'One Historic Garden, Centre of Excellence'

Rugby union


In the regionalisation of Welsh Rugby Union
Welsh Rugby Union
The Welsh Rugby Union is the governing body of rugby union in Wales, recognised by the International Rugby Board.The union's patron is Queen Elizabeth II, and her grandson Prince William of Wales became the Vice Royal Patron of the Welsh Rugby Union as of February 2007.-History:The roots of the...

 in 2003, Bridgend RFC and Pontypridd RFC merged to form the Celtic Warriors. The area represented was massive and there are obvious communication and transport problems in sharing the respective grounds. The decision was made to move the club permanently to the Brewery Field because current Crusaders owner Leighton Samuel, who then owned the Warriors, was the primary leaseholder. Attendances at Warriors matches had been poor but were showing signs of recovery in 2004. But despite a strong finish to the Celtic League
Celtic League (rugby union)
The Celtic League is an annual rugby union competition involving professional sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales....

 season, the region was disbanded to the shock of everyone involved. Professional rugby union in Bridgend and the valleys ended in an instant. The people of the areas involved now have to identify with teams outside the locality, support their semi professional Welsh Premiership team the Bridgend Ravens or some have even switched to rugby league.

Bridgend Ravens are a new rugby union club in the town. Formed from the original Bridgend RFC in 2004 following Bridgend RFC's owner Leighton Samuel making the decision to withdraw from rugby union. The original company was finally wound up by its owner due to mounting debts in 2006. The Bridgend Ravens side are semi-professional and play in the Welsh Division One West. In a recent development the Brewery Field was sold to Bridgend Town F.C. who then immediately offered 50% to the Ravens. So after a number of years of having to rent their historical home from the rugby league side Celtic Crusaders, Bridgend Ravens now partly own their own home again. Bridgend is also home to other rugby union sides including Bridgend Athletic RFC
Bridgend Athletic RFC
Bridgend Athletic RFC are a Welsh rugby union club based in Bridgend in South Wales. They are members of the Welsh Rugby Union playing in the Division One West league and are a feeder club for the Ospreys.-Brief History:...

, Bridgend Sports RFC
Bridgend Sports RFC
Bridgend Sports Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union team based in Bridgend, South Wales. Formed in 1938 by Victor Blick, the team survived the cessation of club rugby in Wales between 1939 to 1945, during the Second World War. There has been in existence at least two other clubs in Bridgend...

 and South Wales Police RFC
South Wales Police RFC
South Wales Police Rugby Football Club is a Welsh rugby union team based in Bridgend, South Wales. The club is a member of the Welsh Rugby Union and is a feeder club for the Ospreys.- History :...

.

Football


Bridgend has two main football (soccer)
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 teams, Bridgend Town F.C.
Bridgend Town F.C.
Bridgend Town F.C. is a Welsh football club that currently play in the Welsh Football League First Division. They are based in Bridgend in south Wales. Historically, their local rivals were Maesteg Park who disbanded in 2009...

, and a Bridgend suburb side Bryntirion Athletic F.C.
Bryntirion Athletic F.C.
Bryntirion Athletic F.C. are a Welsh football team from the Bridgend suburb of Bryntirion. Their local rivals are Bridgend Town F.C...

, both sides play in the Welsh Football League First Division
Welsh Football League First Division
The Welsh Football League Division One, known as the MacWhirter Welsh League First Division for sponsorship reasons, is a football league in Wales...

. Bridgend Town AFC will from 2009 will play at The Brewery Field (The Football Club purchased The Brewery Field in 2009) as the club sold its ground at Coychurch Road ground due to works in conjunction with the new ASDA store. The Football side reached the semi-final of the Welsh Cup during 2008-2009 losing to the eventual winners Bangor City 2-1 in a tight game.

Bridgend's geographical position means South Wales rivals
South Wales derby
The South Wales derby is a football local derby between Welsh clubs Cardiff City and Swansea City and is regarded as one of the most fierce rivalries in British football....

 Cardiff City
Cardiff city
Cardiff City may refer to:* Cardiff city centre* Cardiff City Council* Cardiff City F.C.* Cardiff City L.F.C.* Cardiff City Stadium...

 and Swansea City pick up support from the town, though it is widely believed Bridgend is a "Cardiff City town" overall.

Rugby league


Bridgend recently flirted with Super League
Super League
Super League is the top-level professional rugby league football club competition in Europe. As a result of sponsorship from engage Mutual Assurance the competition is currently officially known as the engage Super League. The League features fourteen teams: thirteen from England and one from...

 rugby league in the guise of the Crusaders recently based at the famous Brewery Field
Brewery Field
Brewery Field is a 8,000 capacity sports stadium in Bridgend, Wales 1,100 of which is seated capacity...

 along side the rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 side Bridgend RFC. This side was considered by a few to be a replacement for the Celtic Warriors
Celtic Warriors
The Celtic Warriors were a regional rugby union team from Wales, who played in the Celtic League and Heineken Cup between 2003 and 2004.-History:The Warriors were one of the five original regions of the Welsh Regional Rugby Era...

 rugby union side after their controversial disbanding in 2004 but also built up a loyal following in their own right. The Crusaders' application for a Super League licence was granted by the Rugby Football League
Rugby Football League
The Rugby Football League is the governing body for professional rugby league football in England. Based at Red Hall in Leeds, it administers the England national rugby league team, the Challenge Cup, Super League and the Rugby League Championships...

 on 22 July 2008. The decision elevated the club from National League One to compete in Super League XIV
Super League XIV
The 2009 Super League season is the fourteenth season of rugby league since the Super League format was introduced in 1996...

 from 2009.

For the 2010 Super League season, Crusaders initially announced they would play at Newport
Newport
Newport is a city and unitary authority area in Wales. Standing on the banks of the River Usk, it is located about east of Cardiff and is the largest urban area within the historic county boundaries of Monmouthshire and the preserved county of Gwent...

's Rodney Parade
Rodney Parade
Rodney Parade is a stadium in the city of Newport, south Wales. Located on the east bank of the River Usk in Newport city centre it is primarily used for rugby matches and is the home ground of Newport RFC and the Newport Gwent Dragons regional team.-History:...

 ground for two seasons. However in the run up to the new season the Celtic Crusaders franchise was sold by owner Leighton Samuel to Wrexham Football Club parent company, Wrexham Village Ltd and the side moved to Wrexham
Wrexham
Wrexham is a town in Wales. It is the administrative centre of the wider Wrexham County Borough, and the largest town in North Wales, located in the east of the region. It is situated between the Welsh mountains and the lower Dee Valley close to the border with Cheshire, England...

, playing home fixtures at The Racecourse Ground. It is yet unclear whether Crusaders still intend to return to Bridgend
New Bridgend Stadium
New Bridgend Stadium is a proposed stadium in Bridgend, Wales. It would be a 15,000 seater multi-sports stadium.While the driving force behind the proposal are the Crusaders, their Chief Executive David Thompson indicated the stadium would be used for several sports saying "We hope to go into...

 in the future.

Bridgend's second rugby league side is the Bridgend Blue Bulls
Bridgend Blue Bulls
Bridgend Blue Bulls RLFC are a rugby league side based in Porthcawl, Wales. They play in the Welsh Premier of the Rugby League Conference. They are the most successful amateur rugby league team in Wales, having won the Welsh Premier a record five times, as well as winning the Harry Jepson Trophy...

, one the UK's most successful amateur clubs having won two UK national amateur titles in four years and Welsh Champions five years in succession. The Bulls played at Coychurch Road but following the announcement about the setting up of the Celtic Crusaders they were invited to play at the Brewery Field by the owner Leighton Samuel. One year on they were refused permission to continue playing at the Brewery Field in the middle of the season. They were then aided by Porthcawl RFC and staged the remaining 2006 home games at the Porthcawl ground. Subsequently Porthcawl RFC have become their regular home and have even staged an amateur rugby league international there during 2008 (Wales v Ireland).

Other sports


Bridgend also has local cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 clubs including Great Western CC and Bridgend Town CC, a men's and ladies' hockey
Hockey
Hockey is a family of sports in which two teams play against each other by trying to maneuver a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick.-Etymology:...

 club, golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

 courses and tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 & bowls
Bowls
Bowls is a sport in which the objective is to roll slightly asymmetric balls so that they stop close to a smaller "jack" or "kitty". It is played on a pitch which may be flat or convex or uneven...

 facilities at the local club, the Bridgend Lawn Tennis and Bowls Association.

In 2003, Great Western Cricket Club won the Lords Sunday Cup. In 2009, Bridgend Town Cricket Club completed an unbeaten season and received ECB
England and Wales Cricket Board
The England and Wales Cricket Board is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. It was created on 1 January 1997 combining the roles of the Test and County Cricket Board, the National Cricket Association and the Cricket Council...

 accreditation.

Districts of Bridgend

  • Brackla
    Brackla
    Brackla is a large housing estate in the east of Bridgend in Bridgend County Borough, Mid Glamorgan, Wales. It has a population of 10,113, making up nearly a quarter of Bridgend's population alone.-History:...

  • Broadlands
  • Bryntirion
  • Cefn Glas
    Cefn Glas
    Cefn Glas is an area of the town of Bridgend, Wales.In the 2001 Census, Cefn Glas had a population of 1,742 people, making up 1.35% of Bridgend's total population.- External links :*...

  • Coychurch
    Coychurch
    Coychurch is a small village that sits between Pencoed and Bridgend in Wales, bordering with Bridgend Industrial Estate.It has a longstanding religious association, with an early Christian church having been built there possibly as long ago as the 8th century CE. The current church of St...

  • Laleston
  • Litchard
  • Llangewydd Court
  • Morfa/Bridgend Town Centre
  • Newcastle
    Newcastle, Bridgend
    Newcastle Castle, on Newcastle Hill, overlooking the town centre of Bridgend in Glamorgan, South Wales, was initially constructed in 1106 by William de Londres, one of the legendary Twelve Knights of Glamorgan, as part of the Norman invasion of Wales....

  • Oldcastle
  • Pen-y-Fai
    Pen-y-Fai
    Pen-y-Fai is a village in the county borough of Bridgend, Wales falling within the Bridgend electoral ward area.- Amenities :It has a population of about 2,000, one village shop, a chapel and All Saints parish church . It also has a pub, the Pheasant, and was once a village for employees of the...

  • Pendre
  • Waterton
    Waterton, Bridgend
    Waterton is an area south of Bridgend, Wales. It is mainly an industrial zone, as it is home to Bridgend Industrial Estate, Waterton Industrial Estate, Waterton Park, the Ford Engine Plant & Waterton Retail Park...

  • Wildmill
    Wildmill
    Wildmill is a district in the town of Bridgend, south Wales.The area is served by Wildmill railway station.Wildmill has often been associated with the working class and it has a high crime rate. Living standards are also low here, and most of the buildings are prefabricated...


Notable people

See :Category:People from Bridgend and :Category:People from Bridgend county borough

  • Jonathan Brown
    Jonathan Brown (Welsh footballer)
    Jonathan David Brown is a Welsh footballer and Wales under-21 international who plays for Southport.-Early life:Born in Bridgend, Brown attended the Archbishop McGrath School as a youngster...

     (Footballer)
  • Downtown Julie Brown
    Downtown Julie Brown
    Julie Dorne Brown, also known as Downtown Julie Brown , is an English actress and former MTV VJ.Of mixed race, Brown's father, Valentine Brown, was Jamaican and her mother, Doreen, is white...

     (Actress)
  • Bullet for My Valentine
    Bullet for My Valentine
    Bullet for My Valentine are a Welsh heavy metal band from Bridgend, formed in 1998. The band is composed of Matt Tuck , Michael Paget , Jason James , and Michael Thomas . They were formed under the name Jeff Killed John and started their music career by covering songs by Metallica and Nirvana...

     (Band)
  • Steve Brace
    Steve Brace
    Steve Brace is a former long-distance runner from Wales, who represented the United Kingdom in the men's marathon at the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics. He finished in 27th and in 60th place respectively. Brace triumphed at the Paris Marathon in 1989 and 1990 and at the Berlin Marathon in 1991...

     (Olympic Athlete - Marathon)
  • Paul Burston
    Paul Burston
    Paul Burston is a British gay journalist, author, broadcaster and curator-Life:Raised in Bridgend, Wales, Burston attended Brynteg Comprehensive School, studied English, Drama and Film Studies at university before becoming an activist with the gay London policing project GALOP and the AIDS...

     (Author/Journalist)
  • Lee Byrne
    Lee Byrne
    Lee Martin Byrne is a Welsh international rugby union rugby player, who plays for ASM Clermont Auvergne in the Top 14 and Heineken Cup...

     (Rugby player)
  • Nicole Cooke
    Nicole Cooke
    Nicole Denise Cooke, MBE is a Welsh professional road bicycle racer for the Mario Cipollini - Giordana Team team, and is the current Olympic road race champion.-Early life:...

     (Cyclist)
  • Peter Cottrell
    Peter Cottrell
    Major Peter James Cottrell . Anglo-Welsh soldier, sailor, writer, educator and revisionist military historian of the Irish War of Independence and Irish Civil War.-Biography:...

     (Historian/Writer)
  • Matt Crowell
    Matt Crowell
    Matthew Thomas Crowell is a Welsh footballer who is currently playing for Spanish Tercera División club CD Ourense -Southampton:...

     (Footballer)
  • Ryan Day
    Ryan Day
    -External links:* * *...

     (Snooker Player)
  • Rhys Day
    Rhys Day
    Rhys Day is a Welsh footballer who plays for Mansfield Town.Day mainly plays as a central defender, and has been capped several times for the Wales under-21 team.-Career:...

     (Footballer)
  • Deddie Davies
    Deddie Davies
    Deddie Davies is a Welsh character actress.She is most familiar to television viewers for comedy roles in a host of series, including The Rag Trade, That's My Boy and Chance in a Million. She usually appears in meek, spinsterish roles...

     (Actor)
  • Rhys Davies
    Rhys Davies (golfer)
    Rhys Davies is a Welsh professional golfer.Davies was born in Edinburgh, Scotland but has lived in Wales for the majority of his life. He played collegiate golf in the United States at East Tennessee State University where he won ten times...

     (European Tour Golfer)
  • Mark Donovan
    Mark Donovan
    Mark Donovan is a Welsh character actor best known for grotesque roles in productions such as Shaun of the Dead, Black Books, In Bruges, and Murder Investigation Team. He also played a brief scene of Hamlet in an episode of the David Renwick comedy-drama, Love Soup...

     (Actor)
  • Huw Edwards
    Huw Edwards (journalist)
    Huw Edwards is a BAFTA award-winning Welsh journalist, presenter and newsreader.He is a news presenter for BBC News in the United Kingdom. Edwards presents Britain's most watched news programme, BBC News at Ten, which is also the corporation's flagship news broadcast...

     (BBC newsreader)
  • David Emanuel
    David Emanuel (fashion designer)
    David Emanuel is a Welsh fashion designer who is, perhaps, best known for having designed the wedding dress worn by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981.-Early years:Born and brought up in Bridgend , David Emanuel excelled in music...

     (fashion designer)
  • Funeral for a Friend
    Funeral for a Friend
    Funeral for a Friend are a Welsh post-hardcore band, from Bridgend. Formed 2001, they have released five studio albums, seven EPs, sixteen singles, one DVD, and one compilation album.-Formation and Early Years:...

     (Band)
  • Scott Gibbs
    Scott Gibbs
    Scott Gibbs is a former rugby footballer who represented Wales and the Lions in rugby union and Wales and Great Britain in rugby league...

     (Rugby player)
  • Hondo Maclean
    Hondo Maclean
    Hondo Maclean was a post-hardcore/metalcore outfit from Bridgend, Wales. On February 16, 2007 they announced that they had stopped the band but would start a new project called The Future, who have also since split up...

     (Band)
  • Michael Hall (Rugby player)
  • Robert Howley (Rugby player)
  • Howard Marks
    Howard Marks
    Dennis Howard Marks is a Welsh author and former drug smuggler who achieved notoriety as an international cannabis smuggler through high-profile court cases, supposed connections with groups such as the CIA, the IRA, MI6, and the Mafia, and his eventual conviction at the hands of the American Drug...

     (Author)
  • Gavin Henson
    Gavin Henson
    Gavin Lloyd Henson is a Welsh rugby union player, born in Pencoed, South Wales, currently playing for Cardiff Blues.He attracted much media attention as part of a Wales national team which achieved Grand Slams in the Six Nations Championship in 2005 and 2008...

     (Rugby player)
  • Marc Jenkins
    Marc Jenkins
    Marc Jenkins is a Welsh triathlete from Bridgend.Jenkins competed at the second Olympic triathlon at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He was the last man to finish, because of a collision during the cycling leg that left his bicycle unusable. Rather than quit, he ran the two remaining kilometers with...

     (Olympic Triathlete)
  • Alex Jones
    Alex Jones (cricketer)
    Alexander John Jones is a Welsh cricketer. Jones is a right-handed batsman who bowls left-arm medium pace. He was born at Bridgend, Glamorgan and educated at Cowbridge Comprehensive School....

     (Cricketer)
  • Carwyn Jones
    Carwyn Jones
    Carwyn Howell Jones is a Welsh politician and the First Minister of Wales. The third official to lead the Welsh Government, Jones has been Assembly Member for Bridgend since 1999. In the coalition government of Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru, he was appointed Counsel General for Wales and Leader of...

     (Incumbent First Minister of Wales
    First Minister for Wales
    The First Minister of Wales is the leader of the Welsh Government, Wales' devolved administration, which was established in 1999. The First Minister is responsible for the exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government; policy development and coordination; relationships with the...

    )
  • Ruth Jones
    Ruth Jones
    Ruth Jones is a Welsh TV actress and writer. She starred in and co-wrote the multi-award winning TV comedy Gavin & Stacey and has appeared in many other successful comedies over recent years...

     (Actress)
  • Jayce Lewis
    Jayce Lewis
    Jayce Lewis is a Welsh solo artist from Bridgend. He was a respected guitarist and drummer before embarking on a solo career.-Musicianship:...

     (Musician)
  • Gareth Llewellyn
    Gareth Llewellyn
    Gareth Llewellyn was born 27 February 1969 in St. David's Hospital Cardiff whilst his father was serving in Cardiff with the Army, is a Welsh rugby union player who gained a record 92 caps for Wales as a lock. His record for Wales caps has since been surpassed by Gareth Thomas, Colin Charvis,...

     (Rugby player)
  • Sean McCarthy
    Sean McCarthy (footballer)
    Sean McCarthy is a Welsh football coach and former professional player who made over 500 appearances in the Football League...

     (Footballer)
  • The Partisans (Band)
  • Billy Rees
    Billy Rees
    William "Billy" Rees was a Welsh former professional footballer and Wales international.-Career:Rees was born in Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw. He had been working as a coal miner while playing amateur football for Caernarvon Rovers when he was spotted by Cardiff City manager Cyril Spiers...

     (Footballer)
  • Gareth Thomas
    Gareth Thomas (rugby player)
    Gareth Thomas , known as Alfie, is a retired Welsh professional rugby footballer who played rugby league for the Crusaders RL in the Super League. He also previously played rugby union for the Cardiff Blues and as a fullback, wing or centre.On 26 May 2007, Thomas surpassed Gareth Llewellyn as the...

     (Rugby player)
  • Helen Tucker
    Helen Tucker
    Helen Rebecca Jenkins, née Tucker , is a British professional triathlete and the 2008 and 2011 ITU World Champion...

     (2008 World Triathlon Champion)
  • Bradley Wadlan
    Bradley Wadlan
    Bradley Lewis Wadlan is a Welsh cricketer. Wadlan is a left-handed batsman who bowls slow left-arm orthodox. He was born in Bridgend, Glamorgan....

     (cricketer)
  • David Williams
    David Williams (crime writer)
    David Williams was an advertising executive who became a crime writer after suffering a stroke.Williams was born in Bridgend in Wales and studied at the Hereford Cathedral School and St John's College, Oxford, where he read modern history...

     (crime writer)
  • J.P.R. Williams (Rugby player)
  • Colours of One
    Colours of One
    Colours of One are a five-piece alternative rock band from the surrounding areas of Bridgend, Wales. From the beginning of 2008 their line-up consisted of lead vocalist Michael Simmonds, bassist Chris Dower, guitarists Matthew "Miff" Tuck and Rhys Hart, and drummer Paul Jones; until summer 2011...

     (Band)


See also

  • Bridgend suicide incidents
    Bridgend suicide incidents
    The Bridgend suicide incidents are a set of suicides involving young people in the South Wales county borough of Bridgend. Reports speculated that a "cult suicide" was to blame...

  • Bridgend (UK Parliament constituency)
    Bridgend (UK Parliament constituency)
    -Elections in the 2000s:-Elections in the 1990s:-See also:* Bridgend * List of Parliamentary constituencies in Mid Glamorgan-Notes and references:...

    Bridgend County

External links