Vibrant and Viable Places
Vibrant and Viable Places- A New Regeneration Framework
Vibrant and Viable Places in the Welsh Government's Regeneration Framework which was launched in March 2013.
The framework is the result of a review of approaches to regeneration in Wales and further afield that took place during 2012 and extensive consultation with partners from October to January 2013. The Welsh Government’s vision is that everyone in Wales 'should live in well-connected vibrant, viable and sustainable communities with a strong local economy and good quality of life'. The framework has the backing of the whole Cabinet. It promotes a well-evidenced approach combining support for people and places, and encourages partnership working by the public, private and third sectors.
The main aims of the regeneration investment are:
- to revitalise and promote the sustainable development of town centres, coastal communities and Communities First clusters, making the most of their green infrastructure, heritage and historic character;
- to build sustainable and vibrant communities that are more prosperous, better educated and healthier;
- to tackle poverty by creating jobs, encouraging skills development and helping people into work;
- to encourage wider investment in housing (through improving housing condition and supply)
- to deliver strategic, regionally important projects of significant scale.
Investment has been targeted at town centre, coastal community and Communities First cluster schemes. More than £110m has so far been invested into these areas.
There are 11 VVP areas across Wales – Newport, Torfaen- Pontypool / Cwmbran, Merthyr, RCT – Pontypridd and environs, , Bridgend, NPT – Port Talbot, Swansea, Wrexham, Flintshire, Conwy – Colwyn Bay, Anglesey – Holyhead.
The project details for each of the 11 Welsh Government Vibrant and Viable Places regeneration schemes are now available to view on the Welsh Government website here: Vibrant and Viable Places Regeneration Areas
Housing features strongly in many of the projects, particularly in the conversion of empty homes and shops to residential premises. You can view a summary of the projects that feature housing here: Vibrant and Viable Places Housing
Tackling Poverty Fund
The Vibrant and Viable Places Tackling Poverty Fund will help to regenerate some of the poorest areas in Wales. The £7m fund has been ring fenced for town centre related projects to tackle poverty in the most deprived areas in Wales. When it was originally announced in September 2013, the fund stood at £5m. A further £2m funding was announced in April 2014 and means that seven local authorities are each receiving £1m. The funding is for communities which were unsuccessful in bidding for a share of the £100m Vibrant and Viable Places fund but are in the top 10% of the Welsh Index for Multiple Deprivation. It has been allocated to the local authorities for use in specific areas - either a town or an area within a town or city.
There are 7 VVP Tackling Poverty Areas- Vale of Glamorgan (Barry), Blaenau Gwent (Tredegar) Cardiff, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire (Llanelli), Denbighshire (Rhyl), Gwynedd (Caernarfon)
Other Welsh Government Regeneration Programs:
- Wales Rural Development Programme
The Wales Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP) is a seven year European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) programme funded by the European Union and Welsh Government.
The Wales RDP 2014-2020, which was submitted to the European Commission on 11 July 2014, could provide £953m of European and Welsh Government funding to rural Wales to help:
- increase the productivity, diversity and efficiency of Welsh farming and forestry businesses, improving their competitiveness and resilience, reducing their reliance on subsidies
- improve the Welsh environment, encouraging sustainable land management practices, the sustainable management of our natural resources and climate action in Wales
- promote strong, sustainable rural economic growth in Wales and encourage greater community-led local development
The new Wales RDP 2014-2020 aims to be open from January 2015.The Wales RDP 2014-2020 schemes are subject to change until the full programme has been agreed by the European Commission.
- Business Improvement Districts
The Welsh Government has allocated £203k to support the development of nine Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) proposals in Wales.
BIDs bring together businesses and other stakeholders in a defined geographical area, so they can develop projects and activities which will help boost the local economy.
All local authorities in Wales were asked to look at how a BID could make a difference to the local economy and then discuss their ideas with businesses and the wider community.
The following BIDs in development applications were successful:
Caernarfon and Bangor
Pant & Merthyr Tydfil Industrial Estates
The funding will be used to appoint consultants to help local partnerships develop a BID proposal. The consultants will guide, advise and support the local partnerships to give each proposal the best possible chance for success.
The organisations in the proposed BID area will vote on whether to pay an additional levy. If they vote yes, a new BID will be created and the levy will pay for its activities and projects.
Wales also has two BIDS currently in Swansea and Merthyr with Newport due to vote soon.
- Town Centre Partnership Fund
The Town Centre Partnership Fund aims to help boost town centres across Wales.
Twenty partnerships will be supported at a total cost of £845,157. The fund will support 20 town centre partnerships encouraging activities that help to:
- increase footfall
- increase public, private and community investment
- reduce the impact of empty properties
- support businesses and services to establish, grow and prosper
- support diversification by promoting alternative uses (such as residential and leisure)
- support innovative approaches to regeneration.
Each town centre will receive up to £50k with an expectation that match-funding of at least 50% will come from other sources.
The towns are: Maesteg, Holywell, Llangefni, Porthcawl, Porthmadog, Brynmawr & Blaina, Abergavenny, Aberdare, Bangor, Blaenavon, Prestatyn, Carmarthen, Penarth, Porth, Neath, Fishguard & Goodwick, Ammanford, Llantwit Major, Maindee and Treharris.