A BID for £15 million which could help create up to 5,000 new jobs is a “once in a generation” opportunity for Flintshire, says the leader of the county council.
Flintshire Council has applied for the money from the Welsh Government to bolster a development drive on Deeside.
It is one of 11 councils across Wales which have put in for a share of Government funding.
Senior councillors say, should the bid be successful, the cash could create thousands of new jobs and a raft of new housing in the area.
The council expects to find out if its bid has been successful at the end of this month.
County Hall bosses hope that the multi-million pounds of funding will make Deeside a leading light in UK high-value manufacturing by paying for a number of projects to improve the area.
These include investment in new homes and improving the condition of older housing, upgrading transport investment to improve access to jobs, improving town centres on Deeside and creating new training and research facilities to encourage high-quality employers to invest in the area and to assist local people in accessing jobs.
At the heart of the council’s cash bid is plans to develop an advanced manufacturing centre to serve the region, which authority bosses hope would act as a catalyst for high-quality businesses to invest in the area.
Flintshire Council leader Cllr Aaron Shotton, said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity for Flintshire and for Deeside.”
Deeside Industrial Park Forum chairman Askar Sheibani said the bid would go a long way to increasing Deeside’s attraction to new businesses.
He said: “Obviously I welcome this bid. If it’s successful, it would have a fundamental effect on the Deeside area.
“Our enquiries from businesses to come to Deeside have increased and the latest attraction to come is the prospect of renewable energy through the installation of solar panels.
“The whole area is becoming extremely vibrant and an extra £15m investment is bound to have a very positive impact for both Deeside and the enterprise park.”
Cllr Derek Butler, cabinet member for economic development, said the new money would build on regeneration work that begun on Deeside some time ago.
He said: “The council is well placed to bid for funding of this kind, since it has well-developed strategic, long-term plans in place for Flintshire’s main communities.
“Work on the Town Action Plan programme, Housing Renewal Programme and the Deeside Regeneration Area has already been under way for the last five years.”
Wrexham Council is one of the other 11 councils that has applied for funding and is aiming to introduce improvements to the town centre, Caia Park and Hightown.