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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Welsh Secretary visits sites to receive Levelling Up boost

* Welsh Secretary Simon Hart, second right, with Simon Baynes MP, second left, and council officials at the aqueduct. 

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart has viewed sites in north east Wales which are receiving more than £13m in UK Government funding to boost tourism and improve facilities for visitors, including one in Llangollen.

The Welsh Secretary joined Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes and Wrexham Council last Friday to see how the money, allocated as part of the UK Government’s new Levelling Up Fund, will transform connectivity, public spaces and services in the area.

A total of £13.3m was granted to the project in October’s Autumn Budget – part of the first round of successful bids for the £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund which invests in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centre and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets. 

There are three phases in the north east Wales project: 

  1. The Trevor Basin Technical Masterplan which will see investment in a new arrival area, rewilding former industrial land, setting up a woodland activity and education area and creating a new Dee Valley walking route in the area around the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct World Heritage site. 
  1. Connectivity improvements in the area including a new public space at the junction of Castle Street and Abbey Road in Llangollen, improving links between Llangollen and the Wenffrwd Nature Reserve through a walking / cycling route along a disused railway line and new visitor facilities at Llantysilio Green / Horseshoe Falls. 
  1. Improvements to Corwen Station and car park including electric vehicle charging points and the creation of a walking / cycling route along the disused railway line between Corwen and Cynwyd. 

On Friday, Mr Hart, Mr Baynes and members of Wrexham Council visited the Trevor Basin, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the River Dee to learn how the levelling-up investment would benefit the area. 

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “The UK Government is completely focused on levelling up our communities, improving infrastructure and connectivity and creating opportunity for people right across Wales.

“It was fantastic to see the ambitious plans for the Dee Valley and surrounding area and learn how the major injection of funding we are providing will unlock the potential of all our local areas.

“We are aiming to provide investment where it’s needed and where it can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes said: “I am hugely grateful to the Secretary of State for taking the time to join us at the Trevor Basin to discuss the ambitious plans underway to level up Clwyd South and our communities in North East Wales, with the Trevor Basin masterplan, the investment in Llangollen and Chirk, and the proposals for the Corwen area.

“The projects have huge potential to benefit Clwyd South residents and visitors alike. They will not only provide jobs and a much needed economic boost to Clwyd South but also improve the well-being of our residents by widening access to recreation, outdoor and other amenity activities. And will celebrate the amazing history, language and culture of our part of Wales and bring them to a wider audience.”

The Wrexham and north east Wales project was one of 10 successful bids in the first round of applications for the new Levelling Up Fund including the regeneration of Aberystwyth seafront, an important dualling of the A4119 in South Wales and redevelopment of the Theatr Brycheiniog Arts Centre in Brecon. 

It was also announced last month that more than 160 projects across Wales will also receive a share of more than £46m in the first round of the Community Renewal Fund which will pilot new programmes that invest in people, boost skills and support local business.  

And three further projects in Wales received over £460,000 from the new Community Ownership Fund designed to protect valued community assets.

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