Housing minister hails £16m boost for town centre

Published date: 31 January 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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TOWN centres in North East Wales are to benefit from investment totalling more than £16 million.

Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Carl Sargeant, has announced the allocation of funding for the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places regeneration grants.

The total funding across Wales has been extended to £100 million over three years, with Wrexham to receive £10.594m during that period and the Deeside area of Flintshire being allocated £6,024m.

Mr Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside, said: “Despite the cuts imposed on us by the UK Government, this substantial funding is further evidence of how the Welsh Government is committed to supporting the people of Wales.

“These worthy projects will make a real difference to their communities and I’m delighted with the quality of the bids received.

“Many of the successful bids focus on the regeneration of town centres, which is about a lot more than filling empty shops.

“It is about creating a diverse and vibrant town centre with other services such as leisure, health and education at its heart and making the town centre an attractive place to live.

“Increasing housing supply is my number one priority and I hope these successful bids will build on and compliment the excellent regeneration work in evidence across Wales through our Houses into Homes and Social Housing Grant schemes.”

Half of the 22 local authorities in Wales put in bids for the money. The other authorities to receive funding through Vibrant and Viable Places are Bridgend, Conwy, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea and Torfaen.


THE Deeside funding will be used for regeneration projects in towns and villages.
The aim will be to help elping to tackle poverty, increase housing supply and improve community facilities across an area which includes Connah’s Quay, Shotton, Queensferry, Hawarden, Aston, Garden City, Sealand,Broughton, Bretton, Ewloe, Mancot, Pentre, and Sandycroft.

Flintshire Council cabinet member and Sealand community councillor, Christine Jones, described the announcement as “fantastic”. “It’s brilliant news,” she said. “Absolutely brilliant.

“We were hoping we were going to get it but you’re never complacent.”

Cllr Jones said a lot of work had gone into the bid and all the officers involved deserved a great deal of thanks.

“It means all the Deeside strip from Sealand to Connah’s Quay will be regenerated.”

Cllr Jones said the money would link in with the Deeside Enterprise Zone funding.

“It will give such a boost,” she said.

Fellow Flintshire councillor David Wisinger, who chairs the Deeside Forum, said the money would be used across town centres.

“It’s very, very good news,” he said, “especially at a time when it’s very hard to get money from the Welsh Assembly.”

He added: “Those areas need regenerating. That money will be well spent.”

County Hall bosses in Mold hope the multi-million pounds of funding will make Deeside a leading light in UK high-value manufacturing by paying for projects to improve the area.

At the heart of the plan is a scheme to develop an advanced manufacturing centre to serve the region, which authority bosses hope will act as a catalyst for high-quality businesses to invest in the area.

MORE than £10 million will be pumped into Wrexham to aid the regeneration of the town.

The funding will be used for regeneration projects, helping to create jobs, tackle poverty, increase housing supply and improve community facilities.

Some of the money has already been earmarked for affordable housing, with 326 units set to be built. The funding is also set to create jobs in the construction industry, help people get back into work and create learning opportunities for the people of Wrexham.

The estimated worth of the project is expected to within the region of £27 million, with match funding coming from other sectors.

Cllr Neil Rogers, leader of Wrexham Council. described the settlement as “a big win” for Wrexham.

He said: “A lot of hard work has gone in to this bid and I’m thrilled the town has been able to secure 90 per cent of the money we originally bid for.

“This money will be spent wisely on a number of innovative regeneration activities which will bring much needed jobs, training and new and improved housing to the town centre and adjoining Communities First areas of Caia Park and Hightown

“One of the main aims of our Council Plan is to ensure Wrexham and its people are supported to fulfil their potential and prosper and this multi-million pound investment will help us realise this ambition.”

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