CEREDIGION has a plan to boost its economy and intends to “draw down” as much funding as possible, councillors have been told.
Cabinet member for economy Cllr Clive Davies updated the council’s thriving communities overview and scrutiny committee on progress on delivering its economic strategy this week.
Cllr Davies said that “a lot of work is on going but there are few challenges as well, that have become evident” as he addressed the committee on Wednesday, October 19.
Following questions about what funding had been received or was in the pipeline following May’s election Cllr Davies said that having the strategy in place was key, rather than chasing money and trying to fit it to projects.
He added that the plan allowed the council to “maximise as much as we can get down to follow up on what we want to do in the strategy and the framework to develop Ceredigion.”
The strategy is focused on “areas of influence” where Ceredigion County Council can make a difference to the economy relating to four main priority areas – people, enterprise, place and connectivity.
Both rural and town areas need attention, councillors highlighted, with Cllr Wyn Evans calling for more to be done to improve Aberystwyth town centre.
Along with multi-million investment from UK government, Welsh Government small capital grant schemes boosting job creation were successful in 2021, with a report to committee noting in 2022 £173,000 had already been secured, leading to £250,000 of private sector match funding across ten business, creating 35 new jobs and safeguarding 86.
Challenges to tackle, a report to committee notes, include unemployment and economic inactivity, re-purposing town centres to include more than just retail, increasing the number of mid-size enterprises and accessing high speed internet.