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Development funding boost for south-west Wales

Words: Roger Milne
Funding / iStock-878953966

A regeneration plan that is set to pump £27 million into development across south-west Wales is being rolled out across the region.

The funding aims to help revitalise commercial floor space around the Swansea Bay City Region and boost several key projects.

Funding for the blueprint, the South West Wales Regional Plan for Regeneration, is coming from the Welsh Government's Targeted Regeneration Investment (TRI) programme. This initiative builds on regeneration activities delivered through the government’s Vibrant and Viable Places funding programme.

The plan ties in with the wider economic regeneration ambitions of the Swansea Bay City Region.

Target areas for TRI include Swansea city centre, the area's riverside corridor and Morriston Conservation area, the Neath Port Talbot valleys and town centres, Llanelli town centre and Station Road, Ammanford town centre, and Pembroke and Haverfordwest.

It will help work on projects such as the Neath Port Talbot valleys, retail and leisure projects in Swansea and Haverfordwest as well as Swansea's Hafod Morfa Copperworks. TRI will also provide grants to revitalise commercial properties.

Grants include the Property Enhancement Development Grant (PEDG) and the Sustainable Living Grant (SLG). These grants are being managed by Swansea Council on behalf of four local authorities – Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire, and Pembrokeshire.

The PEDG aims to enhance building frontages and bring vacant commercial floor space back into beneficial business use. The SLG is designed to support the conversion of vacant commercial floor space into new homes.

Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea council's cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, explained: "The key focus will be on areas most in need to ensure prosperity is spread to all parts of south-west Wales."

Meanwhile, in a separate but related move, the administration has put £2 million into a growth scheme for parts of the west of Wales.

The Arfor Innovation fund will provide support in Gwynedd, Anglesey, Ceredigion, and Carmarthenshire, targeting areas where there is a high percentage of Welsh speakers and an inflow of older people and outflow of younger people.

The funding, which is being made available to the four local authorities, will facilitate initiatives and measures supporting economic development in the region. The programme will be coordinated by Gwynedd County Council on behalf of the other local authorities.

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