Welsh projects receive £208 million of Levelling Up funding
A total of 11 projects in Wales have receive grants worth £208 million from the UK Government’s second round of Levelling Up funding.
Projects supported by the fund include Cardiff Crossrail, an engineering campus in Blaenau Gwent, restoration of the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl, and new cycle routes through Conwy Valley
The Cardiff Crossrail project has received £50 million, the joint highest amount awarded to a UK project. There is also £9 million for a new engineering campus for 600 students in Blaenau Gwent and £18.6 million for a new cycle route between Llandudno Junction and Betws y Coed via the Conwy Valley.
Nearly £18 million has been allocated to help renovate the iconic Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl, which requires major work after years of piecemeal refurbishments.
The Department for Levelling Up promised that the latest round of levelling up funding would deliver much-needed economic growth and new jobs to communities across the country, as the Prime Minister promised to “build a future of optimism”.
But Labour accused the Government of presiding over a “Hunger Games-style contest where communities are pitted against one another”.
The UK Government said that over 100 projects across the UK would share £2.1 billion in funding, split between £672 million to develop better transport links, £821 million for community regeneration, and £594 million to go towards restoring local heritage sites.
Prime Minister Rishi Mr Sunak said: “Through greater investment in local areas, we can grow the economy, create good jobs and spread opportunity everywhere.
“That’s why we are backing more than 100 projects with new transformational funding to level up local communities across the United Kingdom.
“By reaching even more parts of the country than before, we will build a future of optimism and pride in people’s lives and the places they call home.”
The levelling up vision was one pioneered by former prime minister Boris Johnson, who promised to “level up” towns and communities across the UK following the UK’s departure from the EU.
Projects in Wales awarded Levelling Up Fund grants are:
- £50 million for Crossrail Cardiff. This will help deliver a new line between Cardiff Bay and Cardiff Central Station.
- A safe and direct cycle route will be created between Llandudno Junction and Betws y Coed via the Conwy Valley with an £18.6 million grant. The scheme will also include measures to mitigate against flooding.
- £17.8 million will restore the historic estate in the Vale of Neath and build new walkways and cycle paths.
- £17 million for building new walkways and cycle paths to bring people closer together in Holyhead and enable visitors and local people to explore the stunning sites of St Cybi’s Church and the Roman Fort.
- £18 million to transform the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl
- In Blaenau Gwent, a new engineering campus for 600 young people will be built using £9 million funding. It will offer the next generation of engineers an extensive programme of apprenticeships and industry placements in the area.
- £20 million will restore and regenerate three industry heritage sites in the Lower Swansea Valley. This includes the Morfa Copperworks and will create new shops, restaurants and market places, and a major upgrade to Swansea Museum.
- The £7.6 million Pontypool Cultural Hub project in Torfaen will transform derelict buildings into a cultural centre with a new restaurant to boost the night-time economy.
- Building a state of the art leisure centre in Caerphilly with £20 million, including a new gym and swimming pool.
- In Gwynedd, £18.8 million will upgrade walking and cycling routes for the National Slate Museum and the Neuadd Ogwen arts centre.
- Denbighshire will receive £11 million to restore the historic monuments in Ruthin, including St Peter’s Church and the town square.
The UK Government has also confirmed plans for a further round of the Levelling Up Fund.
Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies said: “This is a hugely significant investment in truly significant projects across Wales. I’m delighted to see so many successful bids from around the country for schemes which will have an impact for generations to come.
“This funding will regenerate town centres and historic buildings, create new cycle and walking paths through some of our most beautiful countryside, improve facilities for visitors, deliver transport solutions for Cardiff and contribute to the health and future job opportunities for people in the areas involved.
“I am very much looking forward to following the progress of these projects as they help us achieve our ambitions of levelling up the UK and growing the Welsh economy.”
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