Seven projects are awarded grants from round three of Levelling Up Fund to support long-term regeneration and growth.
- Projects include regeneration schemes in Port Talbot and Rhyl, creating a vibrant public area in Barry Dock and upgrading cycle routes in Powys
- Chancellor announces intention to work with Welsh government to extend window for Freeports and Investment Zones to unlock further investment
Regenerating Port Talbot town centre, creating a public area on Barry's waterfront and upgrading cycle routes in Powys are some of the transformational projects awarded a share from the UK Government's flagship Levelling Up Fund.
Seven projects have been allocated £111 million in Wales which will help create jobs, drive economic growth and spread equality to historically overlooked areas - restoring pride in the places people live. This will drive forward the Prime Minister's priority to grow the economy by levelling up and provide foundations for building a better future in communities across the UK.
This announcement builds on previous Levelling Up investment into Wales through funds such as the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, Freeports and the Long-Term Plan for Towns. This takes the total figure to over £1.2 billion in addition to other investments in local growth, such as £790 million of UK Government investment in City and Growth Deals in Wales.
Levelling up Secretary Michael Gove yesterday said:
Levelling Up means delivering local's people's priorities and bringing transformational change in communities that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued.
Today we are backing 55 projects across the UK with £1 billion to create new jobs and opportunities, power economic growth, and revitalise local areas.
This funding sits alongside our wider initiatives to spread growth, through devolving more money and power out of Westminster to towns and cities, putting in place bespoke interventions to places that need it most, and our long-term plan for towns.
A total of £27 million was yeserday awarded to Neath Port Talbot after two successful bids, including £15 million to regenerate Port Talbot town centre with improvements to Civic Square, the refurbishment of Princess Royal Theatre and improvements to green space at Riverside.
A fund of £12 million has also been awarded to restore and reopen the historic Grade II listed Newbridge bridge to pedestrians and cyclists, whilst Newbridge Road and Riverside Road will also be upgraded.
A further £20 million has been awarded to the Barry Dock waterfront to create a vibrant public area with a new business centre and food and drink outlets, along with almost £18 million to encourage healthier ways of travel in Powys. This includes restoring footbridges and improving the National Cycle Network by resurfacing several paths and improving connectivity to popular tourist destinations.
Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies yesterday said:
This is another hugely significant investment in transformative projects across Wales. From town centre regeneration to improving travel infrastructure, these schemes will have a positive impact for generations to come.
The UK Government continues to invest in communities throughout Wales as we work towards our aims of growing the Welsh economy and levelling up the UK.
Wales has been very successful in the first two rounds of the Levelling Up Fund, with a total of 21 projects receiving over £329 million. It means the UK Government has significantly exceeded the minimum 5% it originally ringfenced for Wales at the outset of the fund, with Wales receiving over 9% across the three rounds totalling £440 million overall for 28 projects.
Previous investments across the first two rounds of the fund include the Porth Transport Hub, which will rejuvenate the town's pre-existing railway station into a modern, centralised and accessible transport centre for locals and visitors. It also includes electric car charging points, a new taxi rank and cycle storage, plus upgrades to the local travel network.
Growing the economy and making the long-term decisions to deliver the change the country needs is a priority for the Prime Minister.
The Chancellor yesterday confirmed the Investment Zones programme in England will be extended from five to 10 years and the window to claim Freeport tax reliefs in England will be extended from five to ten years until September 2031.
The UK Government will work with the Welsh government with the intention of delivering the same extension to Investment Zones and Freeports in Wales.
Projects awarded Levelling Up Fund money in Wales yesterday:
- Almost £18m to encourage healthier ways of travel in Powys including by restoring footbridges and improving the National Cycle Network by resurfacing several paths and improving connectivity to popular tourist destinations.
- £20m to transform a site on the Barry Dock waterfront into a vibrant public area, with a new business centre, food and drink outlets, and recreational and marina facilities.
- More than £15m towards renovating a number of derelict buildings and creating more green areas in Llanelli town centre
- £20m for projects to develop and boost areas in Denbighshire, such as Rhyl, which will include regenerating the town centre, creating more community centres, improving cycle and footpaths, and improving routes between the town and coast.
- £12m to restore and reopen the historic Grade II listed Newbridge bridge to pedestrians and cyclists, whilst Newbridge Road and Riverside Road will also be upgraded.
- £15m to regenerate Port Talbot town centre with improvements to Civic Square, the refurbishment of Princess Royal Theatre, and improvements to green space at Riverside.
- More than £10m to improve public accessibility across Pembroke town, focusing on Westgate, Eastgate and overall improvements to the environment.