WREXHAM Council is set to play a key role in a £15.2m bid to help towns to “build back better”.
It follows the Welsh Government today (March 4, 2021) announcing a funding package to help Wales’s town centres recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The money will be offered to support a range of projects, including improvements to markets, finding new uses for empty buildings and creating pedestrian and cycle routes.
Whilst the funding will be available to all of Wales’s local authorities, Wrexham will take the lead for North Wales in distributing the cash.
Others eligible to apply will include town centre businesses, Business Improvement Districts and town and community councils.
Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, said it is hoped the new grant will help to revive the economy and bring jobs back to Welsh towns.
She said: “Our town centres are unique, special places. Each town has its own proud history, sense of place and memory — with many of lives shaped by the towns we have grown up in, moved-to or visited.
“However, we know that towns in Wales are facing huge challenges in light of Covid-19, which is why the Welsh Government is committed to doing everything we can to ensure our town centres not only survive but thrive in the future.
“By offering Welsh local authorities the broadest and most flexible package of support through our new placemaking fund, we have enabled our regional partners to decide upon the most appropriate mix of interventions and how to put them into practice effectively in towns across Wales.
“Together with wider Transforming Towns programme grants, this will help us to re-build our Welsh towns and to realise wider plans set out by Welsh Government — to open up new, local economic opportunities while creating sustainable places for the people of Wales to live, work, learn and enjoy.”
The Welsh Government has so far invested £110m as part of the Transforming Towns programme, which funds projects to benefit local communities.
Initiatives which could be supported include green infrastructure developments and both internal and external improvements to businesses.
Ministers are also keen for more people to work from, or closer to home, by repurposing empty buildings as co-working hubs and encouraging public sector organisations to set up offices in town centres.
The government said its work to improve digital connectivity across Wales would support its ambitions.