Wrexham to receive share of funding aimed at revitalising town centres
Wrexham is to receive a share of funding aimed at revitalising town centres across Wales.
The Welsh Government’s Town Centre Loans programme provides funding to local authorities to support landlords to redevelop empty and under-utilised properties.
Under this round of funding, local authorities can act directly and use their share of the £18.4m to step in to buy and redevelop properties to support the diversification of our town centres by encouraging more sustainable uses for empty sites and premises, such as residential, leisure and for key services.
Once the Town Centre Loan is repaid, the money will be recycled to fund new loans, bring empty and derelict sites back into use, help businesses to grow and prosper, and support activities to increase footfall on our high streets.
Wrexham has been allocated £500,000 as parts of the scheme.
Last year an eight point plan from the town’s “Civic Leaders Group” was signed off by the Executive Board of Wrexham Council. The Civic Leadership Report 2019 on Wrexham (PDF here) gave a ‘vision’ of the town centre’s strengths and also its weaknesses and puts forward eight ideas to build on those strengths and address the weaknesses.
Last month we reported on the progress of one project that will see development of “a strong brand and embarking on marketing and engagement” for the town, and yesterday we enquired about progress of a project outcome around ‘finding financial solution to knock down and invest in town centre buildings” – with today’s details on a town centre loans and other funding appearing to be based around aspects of the eight point local plan ‘ask’.
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said: “As part of our Transforming Towns approach, we have invested over £40m of Town Centre Loans funding over this Senedd term, enabling the redevelopment and occupation of many town centre buildings across Wales.
“I look forward to seeing more homes, offices and businesses developing thanks to the property improvements we will see as a result of this latest round of funding.”
Wrexham will also receiving funding as part of of the North Wales town centres entrepreneurial fund , which looks to incentivise new entrepreneurs to locate their businesses within the town centres.
The fund comprises grant and loan funding; the loan funding will be provided by Development Bank of Wales.
Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates said: “Supporting our businesses and town centres is a key part of our Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission as we aim to rebuild the Welsh economy so that it’s more prosperous, equal and green than ever before.
“We have all seen the importance of digital during the pandemic, in how we connect with each other, purchase goods and access service. Embracing technology is going to crucial to the future success of businesses and I’m delighted our town centre funding will help towns and businesses do just that.
“I’m also pleased we will be able to provide important incentives to businesses so we can increase footfall in Wrexham, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay and Bangor.
“This funding will help attract businesses and people back into the town centres.”
A further £3.34m funding has also been allocated to town centres to help enable businesses to plan projects which will support their economic growth as well as helping them make the best use of digital technology.
This includes utilising data to help firms better understand their customer base and trends which will support businesses in their future planning and marketing activities.
The funding will also help establish pop up shops and creative hubs to increase their retail offer and will drive increased footfall into the town centre.
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email News@Wrexham.com