Pembrokeshire prepares £70 million pitch for levelling up funds
Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter
A multi-million pound investment for Milford Haven train station could be on the cards as bids for UK government funding are prepared.
Two applications for the ‘levelling up fund’ second round are being prepared and have cabinet backing for submission – one relating to strategic transport and one constituency bid for the Carmarthen west and south Pembrokeshire area.
A report to Pembrokeshire County Council’s cabinet on Monday, June 13 stated that the large transport bid is for up to £50million and the bid for south Pembrokeshire is for up to £20million.
Presenting the report on the bids, deputy leader, Cllr Paul Miller told Cllr Rhys Sinnett that this was a “really great opportunity to see some investment in Milford Haven rail station” and it is a “really important part of the transport jigsaw.”
Report to cabinet states that key transport interchanges in Haverfordwest, Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock could see around £12-£15million, £3-£4million and £4.5-£5million invested respectively.
The South Pembrokeshire bid will entail town centre regeneration to improve the sense of place in Pembroke, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, it adds.
Cllr Miller said that this fund, and the upcoming UK shared prosperity fund (SPF) outlined earlier in the meeting, were UK Government funding streams replacing – although not equalling previous provision – EU money in Pembrokeshire.
It was also raised by Cllr Sinnett that the Welsh Government position was of not providing technical support due to concern of being “bypassed” by Westminster and that match funding from Cardiff will not be available.
He added there was “technically no requirement” for match funding for the SPF.
Cllr Miller said that he was aware of the view that Westminster was “using the repatriation” of EU funding in some areas to “undermine devolution” and Welsh Government felt strongly about that.
He told cabinet that the “focus is very much on benefit to Pembrokeshire” aside from political views of “some of the funding being passported directly to local authorities.”
An extraordinary cabinet meeting is to be held to review the investment plan for the SPF in Pembrokeshire.
The cabinet also approved the submission of the levelling up bids, with a decision expected in the Autumn.
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