Headlines: May 11th, 2009

A four-year regeneration scheme for North Wales has moved a step nearer with approval for Convergence Funding. The decision means the 38 million pound programme of improvements can go ahead in seven of of the most deprived communities in Wales.

The scheme will see the development of 2.9 hectares of land and 1,216 square metres of premises, using 19 million pounds from the European Union’s Convergence Funds and further backing from the Welsh Assembly Government and other sources, including the four local authorities concerned. The four-year strategy will see a total of 14 schemes within the Môn a Menai and North Wales Coastal Strategic Regeneration Areas.

Leighton Andrews, the Welsh Deputy Minister for Regeneration, said Rhyl and Colwyn Bay, would be key focuses for regeneration. They will benefit from improvemets to existing seafront facilities and boost tourism. The improvements in Rhyl will build on the European Objective 1 funded Foryd Harbour refurbishment and include plans for new quayside workshops, a link to the Ocean Plaza development and High Street improvements. Bangor and Caernarfon will both undergo town centre renewal projects. Historic and derelict building acroos Anglesey will be renovated and brought back into economic use.

Mr Andrews said the regeneration programme would create a more attractive climate for investment in the region as well as seeing sustainable improvements to the built environment. He added: “The emphasis on public realm works will help set the scene and provide an environment aimed at stimulating commercial confidence and supporting the retail sector.”