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Support for young musicians, hi-tech jobs and new boost for high streets as Welsh Labour unveils its Valleys Offer

FIRST Minister Mark Drakeford and Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner will unveil Welsh Labour’s ambitious offer for the South Wales Valleys, on a visit to Rhondda on Wednesday.


Welsh Labour’s offer for the Valleys is an exciting plan to create jobs, boost our high streets and find the Valleys’ next Stereophonics and Manic Street Preachers.


Welsh Labour’s offer to young people in the Valleys will:


Guarantee every young person in the valleys under the age of 25 the offer of a job or a place in education, training or self-employment.


Nurture young Welsh musical talent through our new National Music Service, supporting future generations to become the next iconic musician or band from the Valleys.


Moving our Valleys high streets and town centres forward we will:


Create new jobs on High Streets and in Town Centres as part of our plan build new Remote Working Hubs to allow people work more flexibly. Our new generation of 21st Century Integrated Health and Social Care Centres will sit at the heart of these communities.


Establish a new Community Bank for Wales, with branches in the valleys where High Street Banks have retreated and we will use new powers to end old Tory planning rules and re-regulate buses so that services will be planned according to the needs of Valleys communities.


Through our commitment to a Jobs-First Recovery in the Valleys, we will:


Complete Welsh Labour’s transformational £750m electrification of the valleys rail lines as part of the new Metro to support jobs; deliver £800m of new trains to run on them and invest £70m to upgrade to the Ebbw Vale rail line.


Commit to bring new jobs to the valleys through the £50m we’re investing in the new Global Centre for Rail Excellence in the Dulais Valley.


Support jobs and new opportunities in the valleys by completing our 10-year £100m Tech-Valleys programme and finishing major projects including the £1bn dualling of the Heads of the Valleys road.


Invest in valleys entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses in the valleys, helping them to grow and expand by using our £500m Wales Flexible Investment Fund to support economic recovery after Covid.


Speaking about Welsh Labour’s Valleys Offer, Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister Mark Drakeford said:


“Our offer for the Valleys is new jobs, a boost to our high streets, and a prosperous future for our young people.


“We will step in with our community bank where High Street Banks have retreated. We will build new 21st Century Health Centres, and support people to work closer to home.


“Welsh Labour is already bringing jobs to the valleys – our Valleys Taskforce has helped 7000 more people into work since 2016. We have created a new £7m tech cluster in Ebbw Vale, with plans for a new campus for cyber testing.


“As part of our commitment to good public transport across the Valleys, we located Transport for Wales’ new Headquarters in Pontypridd and we are building the trains and the tracks to power the new Metro.


“All these things can only happen with a Welsh Labour Government leading the recovery and moving Wales forward. If you value a bright future for the south Wales valleys, you have to vote for it on 6th May.”


Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said:


“Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour are showing the difference that Labour makes in power, but more than that they’re showing we don’t have to settle for the incompetence and sleaze of the Tories.


“Welsh Labour has the right approach to get Wales through the pandemic and a plan to move communities in the Valleys forward.


“Young people will a guaranteed offer of a job or training, giving all our young people the opportunity to get on in life.


“Every young person should be able to achieve their dreams and fulfil their potential, regardless of their background. That’s why I’m so excited about the idea of a new national music service supporting young people who have ambitions to be the next generation of Welsh superstars.”

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