Four locations in Wales are set to receive £20 million each over a ten-year period to support the revitalisation of their high streets and address issues related to anti-social behavior.
These four Welsh places, including Wrexham, which was recently granted city status, have been chosen to benefit from the £1.1 billion Levelling Up investment fund, which is being distributed to 55 “overlooked towns” across the United Kingdom.
Merthyr Tydfil, Cwmbran, Wrexham, and Barry will each receive £20 million from the UK Government as part of a long-term investment strategy for towns that have historically been “overlooked and taken for granted.”
The funding will be directly provided by the UK Government to the respective local authorities, and they will collaborate with local partners, including the Welsh Government, to ensure that the funds are used most effectively.
The Prime Minister emphasised that this new long-term vision for towns, supported by a £1 billion investment, aims to empower local communities by putting “funding in the hands of local people” to enhance their surroundings.
The £20 million fund, designed to be spent over a decade, will be directed toward local priorities, such as rejuvenating high streets, addressing anti-social behavior, enhancing transportation, increasing visitor numbers, and fostering local economic growth.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Towns are the place most of us call home and where most of us go to work.
“But politicians have always taken towns for granted and focused on cities.
“The result is the half-empty high streets, rundown shopping centres and anti-social behaviour that undermine many towns’ prosperity and hold back people’s opportunity — and without a new approach, these problems will only get worse.
“That changes today. Our Long-Term Plan for Towns puts funding in the hands of local people themselves to invest in line with their priorities, over the long-term. That is how we level up.”
David TC Davies, the Welsh Secretary, said: “Merthyr Tydfil, Cwmbran, Wrexham and Barry are all fantastic places and will hugely benefit from this significant investment in their future.
“We are proud to be supporting people to take control of their local areas. Levelling up is at the centre of the UK Government’s ambitions and communities across Wales will be transformed over the coming years with the investment we are making in them.”
Michael Gove, the Secretary for Levelling Up, added:
“We know that in our towns the values of hard work and solidarity, common sense and common purpose, endeavour and quiet patriotism have endured across generations.
“But for too long, too many of our great British towns have been overlooked and undervalued.
“We are putting this right through our Long-Term Plan for Towns backed by over £1 billion of levelling up funding.
“This will empower communities in every part of the UK to take back control of their future, taking long term decisions in the interests of local people.
“It will mean more jobs, more opportunities and a brighter future for our towns and the people who live and work in them.”
According to Mr. Gove’s department, the government intends to collaborate with local councils and the devolved administrations to determine the allocation of funding and authority to benefit towns in Scotland and Wales as part of these proposals.