Investment in every part of Wales is helping to grow the economy and deliver benefits for communities Government UK reports.
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… equivalent of over £800 for every person in Wales…
Communities across Wales are benefitting from over £2.5 billion in UK Government levelling up funding to transform their local areas, which is the equivalent of over £800 for every person in Wales.
This huge funding boost has seen the UK Government working with local partners to deliver projects that transform communities, create thousands of jobs and grow the economy.
In 2023, this included two new £160 million Investment Zones in north-east and south-east Wales, two Freeports in Anglesey and Milford Haven and Port Talbot alongside a further £319 million in Levelling Up Funding for projects across Wales such as £20 million to transform Barry Docks waterfront and £18.8 million to improve visitor facilities at the National Slate Museum in Gwynedd.
The £2.5 billion investment from the UK Government also includes £790 million in City and Growth Deals which now cover every part of Wales and are delivering jobs and local growth. The Swansea Arena, part-funded by the Swansea Bay City Deal, is now open for business and has a full programme of events.
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said:
“2023 was a fantastic year for both the scale and pace of new investments in Wales and I’m delighted to see that our levelling up funding for communities across Wales now stands at more than £2.5 billion.
“It has been brilliant to see projects where work has been completed and the community is already seeing huge benefits, such as the Baglan Bay Technology Centre in Port Talbot, which is now open for business. This ground-breaking building is the first of its kind in Wales and offers high tech office and laboratory space to a host of innovative companies, part funded by the UK Government’s investment in the Swansea Bay City Deal.
“And I’ve seen countless other projects where work is already underway, or nearing completion. The construction of the Pentre Awel health and well-being centre in Llanelli is moving at pace and will soon create over 1,800 jobs and training opportunities in a world-class medical research facility.
“Another highlight was seeing construction begin on the High Value Engineering centre in Blaenau Gwent. This new centre for Coleg Gwent will provide space for 600 students to gain valuable new skills and has received £9 million directly from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
“These investments are making a huge difference to communities and I’m looking forward to seeing many more transformational projects across Wales in the coming year.”
As well as large scale funding, the UK Government is also working directly with local communities to safeguard the places that are important to them. The Community Ownership Fund has invested over £4 million in a range of projects from community-run pubs and shops to refurbishing village halls, chapels and community centres.
The Welsh Secretary met many of the people who have been instrumental in saving these important community assets. He added:
“It’s such a pleasure to meet the recipients of the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund, such as the people behind saving Llandyrnog Village Shop in Denbighshire and the Judge’s Lodging in Presteigne.
“They are the heroes of their local areas, brimming with ideas and enthusiasm and it’s fantastic that we can help them achieve a long-lasting future for these much-loved places.”
This year, communities across Wales are set to benefit from even more projects opening, such as a new transport hub in Porth and a new dual carriageway at Coed Ely, near Llantrisant in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Both these schemes will help people access workplaces and leisure facilities more easily, improve connectivity right across the region and grow the economy.