A new national forest, support for small business innovation and better bus services all partof Welsh Labour’s offer to Rural Wales.

We will deliver for rural Wales vows Eluned Morgan, as Welsh Labour unveils its offer to countryside communities across Wales. Extra PCSOs on the beat, investment in our high streets and support for remote working hubs will all ensure that Welsh Labour will move rural Wales forward.

Welsh Labour’s pledge to rural Wales will deliver:·

· A new Community Bank for Wales, with branches in areas of Rural Wales where High Street Banks have retreated

· A new system of farm support that will help protect jobs and maximise the protective power of nature through farming· The creation of a Welsh language Communities Housing Plan to strengthen Welsh-
speaking communities – keeping the 1% increase in Land Transaction Tax charged on second home purchases

Our commitment to a jobs-first recovery in rural Wales will deliver:

· New jobs and futures for communities in rural Wales, through harnessing our environment – making Wales a world centre of emerging wave, tidal and marine technologies

· A ‘Town Centre First’ approach to ensure we build new infrastructure in the heart ofcommunities – stimulating local economies

· A Wales Community Food Strategy to encourage the supply of locally sourced food inWales, creating jobs in the foundational economy

Building on the Infrastructure of Rural Wales:

· A digital strategy for Wales – upgrading our digital and communications infrastructure.

· Development of new Regional Transport Plans with more initiatives like the Bwcabusand ‘Fflecsi’ services.

· Invest in infrastructure for electric vehicles in rural Wales.

Increasing Rural Wales’ skills and productivity:

· Investment in Skills and Innovation – including a young persons guarantee of work, education or training to everyone under 25. More apprenticeships, extend personal learning accounts.

· Create skills to meet the changing economic needs of rural communities.

· Provide opportunities for the digitally excluded to learn appropriate skills.

Growing our businesses:

· Support innovation in new renewable technology with a particular focus on supporting emerging technologies that need additional help.

· Expand renewable energy generation by public bodies and community groups in Wales by over 100MW by 2026 working towards our target of 1GW in public sector and community energy capacity by 2030.

Promoting food farming and forestry:

· Create a National Forest from North to South. Create 30 new woodlands and connect habitat areas. Strengthen the protection for ancient woodlands. Harness the economic cultural and recreational potential of the National Forest in Consultation with local communities building on our progress towards creating a sustainable timber industry.

· Create a new system of farm support that will maximise the protective power of nature through farming, requiring food production in Wales takes place within environmental limits. Farmers will only receive public subsidy for producing food that delivers additional environmental outcomes. We will develop a Wales Community Food Strategy to encourage the supply of locally sourced food.

· Expand the scheme of supporting community groups across Wales to create or enhance green spaces accessible to and valued by local communities. 

Using the Foundational Economy to ensure local jobs are provided for local people:

· Back local firms through driving support for the foundational economy through our public funding.· Create new remote working hubs.

· Support the Mentrau Iaith to take a leadership role in developing economic community initiatives.

Maximising tourism potential:

· Help the Tourism Sector recover after covid and market Wales’ rich Staycation offer, year-round.

· Consult on legislation permitting local authorities to raise a tourism levy – ring fenced to support improving the visitor experience in Wales.

Affordable homes for local people:

· Take action to address the impact of second homes. Keep 1% increase in land transaction tax on second homes. Develop effective tax, planning and housing measures which could include local rates of Land Transaction Tax. – to ensure the interests of local people are protected.

· Create a Welsh language Communities housing plan to strengthen Welsh language communities and protect Welsh place names.

Eluned Morgan, Welsh Labour candidate for Mid and West Wales and Welsh Labour Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Welsh Language, said: “I am so proud of the Welsh Labour offer to our rural communities. We have a plan to deliver new jobs, protect and harness our beautiful natural environment, and protect bus services.

“If you value our countryside, then you have to vote Welsh Labour. We will safeguard our environment alongside developing Wales into a leader in Green technology – ensuring that our world beating beauty not only is protected for future generations but also delivers jobs and prosperity to our communities.

“And I know we will deliver on our promises – because our track record in Government speaks for itself. Welsh Labour has a credible and ambitious plan to move rural Wales forward.”