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Regional development agencies urged by Plaid Cymru

Words: Roger Milne
Leanne Wood

Regional development agencies are needed to boost areas ‘neglected’ by Welsh and UK governments, says Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood.

Wood’s call came as she launched the party’s "programme for opposition", at Treorchy in the South Wales Valleys.

She said help should be given first to places most likely to lose EU funding in the wake of Brexit.

The Plaid leader said the priority areas were the South Wales Valleys, and rural and west Wales.

"Regional Development Agencies will have sole focus on areas that have continued to be neglected by successive governments on both ends of the M4," said Wood.

"We know that with the uncertainties arising from the decision to leave the EU, the Welsh Government now needs to look at alternative ways of improving the economies of areas in Wales that have been left behind by successive UK and Welsh Governments.

"In places like the Rhondda, almost 9 per cent of people are unemployed and more than a quarter of people are economically inactive.

"That's why we need specific targeted and focused measures if we are to improve prosperity levels."

Ms Wood said Plaid had “agreed in principle” on several policies with Labour, including a national development bank.