Levelling-up bid could boost town

Saturday 1st January 2022 12:00 pm
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A ‘LEVELLING-up’ funding bid is to be made to try and boost Blaenavon town centre.

Torfaen Council has announced it will submit an application to the UK Government’s £4.8bn levelling-up fund to support town centre projects next year.

The local authority did not enter the bidding in the first round of applications earlier this year, which saw a joint bid for funding for Caldicot and Monmouth town centres by Monmouthshire Council rejected.

Cllr Alan Slade (Independent) asked at last week’s meeting of the full Torfaen Council for confirmation that it would be submitting a bid and which projects were being considered.

Executive member for economy, skills and regeneration Cllr Joanne Gauden said an application for levelling-up funding was in the pipeline and would be submitted in 2022.

Projects being considered by the council include working with landlords to bring empty properties back into use in Blaenavon and Pontypool, connecting Pontypool town to the park and improving Cwmbran town centre.

Cllr Gauden said: “We have prioritised town centres given the need for recovery and revitalisation.

“Town centres were struggling before Covid and now the pandemic has only made those challenges even harder.”

She said a seminar for councillors will be held next month about preparing the bid.

The Levelling-Up Fund created by the UK Government is targeted at town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects and cultural and heritage assets.

Ten schemes in Wales were successful in the first round of bids announced in October, which saw a total of £1.7bn allocated, although none of the projects were in Gwent.

A second round of winners is expected to be announced in the spring.

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