Aiming to secure funding worth nearly £138m for South West Wales over the next three years, a new regional investment plan is being developed.
The plan currently being drawn up by the region’s four local authorities will unlock funds already earmarked for Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea under the UK government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.
In line with UK government guidance, the plan is being developed through local strategic partnerships made up of public, private and voluntary sector organizations in each county.
To help shape the plan further, the four local authorities will seek input from residents and local businesses on which key themes are most important to their regions.
Based on feedback, a final plan will then be submitted to the UK government by August 1 for approval in the fall.
Local authorities have yet to receive money from the Shared Prosperity Fund. Detailed guidelines from the UK government on how funding will be distributed to projects must also be confirmed, although a competitive process is preferred.
Once funding has been secured, each regional local authority will let its businesses and other organizations know how they can apply for funding.
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet Member of the Swansea Council for Regeneration, Investment and Tourism, said:
“This UK Government funding has already been set aside for each local authority area, although a regional investment plan is needed to release it.
“The plan is in the works, although it will soon be further informed by the key themes identified by local people as priorities in their respective local authority areas across South West Wales.
“Area businesses and residents will be kept informed of consultation opportunities. We will also let people know once the regional plan has been approved and businesses and other organizations can start bidding for funds.
Cllr Gareth John, Cabinet Member of Carmarthenshire County Council for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:
“Carmarthenshire welcomes this exciting funding opportunity and working locally with our communities and businesses to grow the economy. Maximizing sustainable growth and jobs for our county is one of our top priorities.
Cllr Martyn Peters, Cabinet Member of the Neath Port Talbot Council for Economic and Community Regeneration, said:
“We have worked closely with our regional and local partners to ensure that the funds that have been allocated to Neath Port Talbot have an impact on local people and businesses. We are further strengthening our local partnership agreements so that we can launch the program as soon as the funds are released. »
The Shared Prosperity Fund is part of the UK government’s upgrading program.