Chancellor Announces Multi-Million Pound Fund for Regeneration Projects in Monmouthshire
NOTE TO EDITORS: I intend filing a further story when I have more info from the Treasury. See also story filed yesterday on Caldicot
CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt has announced Monmouthshire will see a share of a multi-million pound fund for regeneration projects.
No details were given during Mr Hunt’s Autumn Statement address in the House of Commons, but Monmouth Conservative MP David Davies has welcomed £5.2 milllion for what he called “various projects in Monmouthshire”
The announcement – which will see an investment in Chepstow’s bus and rail station – comes just days after the county council’s bid for Levelling Up funding to regenerate Caldicot was overlooked, leading to criticism from the Labour councillor responsible for regeneration on Monmouthshire County Council.
Cllr Paul Griffiths has described today’s announcment as “one of those prizes allocated at the end of a raffle” as its priority had been the £25 million regeneration of Caldicot.
Speaking in the Commons, where he has been outlining the UK Government’s forthcoming financial plans in the autumn statement, Mr Hunt referenced the £1 billion levelling-up funding that had been allocated this Monday, which included £111 million for seven projects in Wales.
The chancellor then said: “I can also confirm we will proceed with over £50 million funding for high quality regeneration projects in communities such as Bolsover, Monmouthshire, Warrington and Eden Valley, all of which have particularly effective local MPs as their champions.”
The autumn statement published by the UK Government states there will be “£37.5 million to support regeneration in places across the UK”, including Monmouthshire, with the cash subject to “final checks, including subsidy control”
The difference between the amount announced by the chancellor, in the Commons, appears to be £15 million for Bolsover.
Following the statement MP Mr Davies, who sits in the Conservative UK Government as Welsh secretary, said: “Having worked very hard to secure this, I am absolutely delighted with this fantastic news.
“It will certainly provide a huge boost to Monmouthshire and attract a greater number of tourists to this fantastic part of Wales.
“My number one aim, as it always has been, is to stand up for the interests of the people of Monmouthshire – and that will never change.”
Cllr Griffiths however said the council was disappointed to have missed out on funding for Caldicot.
He said: “The £5 million allocated for the train station in Chepstow is one of those prizes allocated at the end of a raffle. The county council had given top priority to its £25 million bid for a new leisure centre and town centre regeneration in Caldicot. This would have put money to the area of greatest need.
“The council will now reach out to all interested groups in Chepstow to consider how this allocation can be used to best effect”.
It’s understood the work at the bus station is intended to allow buses to turn around without a significant loss of car parking spaces while Mr Davies has said projects will deliver significant improvements to the local bus network, walkways, cycleways and shared use paths within Chepstow as well as an “improved interchange between bus and rail services, and improved facilities at Chepstow railway station”.
Mr Hunt said the UK Government will also support the Hay Festival which takes place in Hay-on-Wye, Powys and he will visit Wrexham and Flintshire on Thursday where a new investment zone will be established.
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