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£5m to improve Welsh town centres

Words: Laura Edgar
Caernarfon Castle

Welsh communities and tackling poverty minister Lesley Griffiths has dedicated £5 million towards regenerating town centres across Wales.

Seven local authorities will receive the funding as a loan for up to 15 years to improve their town centres.

The town centres to receive a loan are Tredegar, Rhymney, Grangetown, Llanelli, Rhyls, Caernarfon and Barry.

Each council can recycle and re-invest the funding into different projects, which, the Welsh Government explained, aim to improve town centres and bring empty building back into use, create jobs, encourage economic growth and increase the number of homes in town centres.

Griffiths said: “Town centres play a vital role in community life and this loan funding will help bring improvements in the areas which need it the most.

“By making our town centres more attractive and accessible, we hope to increase visitor numbers and give local businesses and communities a boost.”

The Town Centre Loan scheme is part of the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Fund areas and the local authorities that will receive funding have been identified as areas with a high level of deprivation.

The Welsh Government said they will now work the seven authorities “to discuss how the programme will operate in each area.”

Neil Moore, Welsh Local Government Association spokesperson for regeneration, said: “As the funding comes in the form of a loan, the projects supported will need to be able to generate a return so that the loan can be recycled and ultimately repaid to Welsh Government.

“Our town centres are assets to be nurtured, and the revolving nature of this funding will allow for a longer term approach to be taken to town centre regeneration, while also giving local businesses a much needed economic boost."