A SMALL fortune has been splashed out on making the gateway to a top tourist attraction a more welcoming one.
Around £150,000 has been spent on improving facilities at the entrance to Waterfall Country in the upper Neath Valley.
It has been paid for by Neath Port Talbot Council and the Welsh Government's Visit Wales Tourism Investment Support Scheme.
"As a result a range of improvements have been made in Pontneddfechan," said a Neath Port Talbot Council spokeswoman.
"These include the creation of an artwork feature welcoming visitors to Waterfall Country, the installation of a new gate directing visitors to the Waterfall Walks and the refurbishment of the toilets next to the Angel Inn.
"In addition the area has been landscaped to improve the overall appearance of the area surrounding the gateway.
"The works that have been completed complement existing facilities in Pontneddfechan, including the Waterfall Centre and the Angel Inn pub.
"The owners of the Angel Inn, which is a focal point for both residents and visitors to Waterfall Country, have welcomed the new developments and continue to work with the council to plan future improvements."
Pontneddfechan, a few miles up the valley from Glynneath, has become the focal point for visitors to the waterfalls in the Vale of Neath and surrounding Brecon Beacons National Park.
Every year thousands of visitors flock to the waterfalls, and the spokeswoman said the investment would help to improve the overall quality of their visit.
"The waterfalls are a sensitive environment," she added.
"The ongoing aim of Neath Port Talbot Council and Brecon Beacons National Park is to educate visitors about the important geological heritage of the area."
Council leader Ali Thomas said: "The Waterfall Country Gateway project will help to further establish Pontneddfechan as a hub which refers visitors out to a wider geographical area, encouraging them to visit the range of waterfalls throughout the Vale of Neath."