Nine community projects in Monmouthshire have been awarded a share of more than £2m in funding from the UK Government.

The Community Renewal Fund is another key part of the government’s levelling up agenda and was launched as a pilot for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in 2022, which will replace EU aid.

Local areas are being helped to pilot imaginative new approaches and programmes by investing in skills, supporting local businesses and communities, and supporting people into employment.

Monmouthshire will see investment in projects around climate change, economic growth, leisure and tourism totalling £2,043,365.

Monmouth MP and Wales Office minister David Davies said he was “pleased as punch”.

“The funding impacts all parts of Wales and builds on billions of pounds of investment in last week’s Autumn Budget,” he said.

“Monmouthshire has done extremely well. It is a huge vote of confidence in the quality of the bids put forward and the teamwork at a local level to bring this money to the county.

“Dedicated investment will help to strengthen Monmouthshire’s economy by boosting jobs, skills and support for our local communities.”

Cllr Richard John, leader of Monmouthshire County Council, said, “I’m delighted Monmouthshire has been successful in all nine of our bids to the Community Renewal Fund for much-needed cash for a wide range of community projects.

“Combined, this is over £2m of investment in community-based projects around climate change, economic growth, leisure and tourism and will have considerable benefits for Monmouthshire residents.

“I’m proud that as a border county we can work constructively with both Welsh and UK governments for the benefit of our communities.

“I’m grateful for the support of David Davies who has been banging the drum for Monmouthshire in Parliament and am delighted our bids have been successful.

“We will continue to foster a strong relationship with UK Government to level up Monmouthshire and secure vital investment for services and facilities that are valued by our residents.”

One of the successful projects, receiving £122,400, aims to transform Llanarth village and surrounding forestry and farms into a carbon zero zone.

An important aspect of the funding package is to help issues such as fuel poverty prevalent in many rural homes. Typical fuel bills are circa £250/month, which could be reduced to half that amount with correct interventions in place.

Monmouth MS Peter Fox added: “This is fantastic news for Monmouthshire and demonstrates the UK Conservative Government’s commitment to levelling up our communities post-pandemic.

“We have immense talent in this area and this investment will unlock our true potential.”