Shropshire Star

Levelling Up: Millions of pounds pledged to improve Mid Wales infrastructure and tourism hotspots

Mid Wales is to get more than £17 million to help with improvements to its infrastructure, particularly at tourist hotspots.

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Russell George and Craig Williams on a bridge on the Newtown bypass

Lake Vyrnwy and Llanrhaedr-ym-Mochnant are two areas that will benefit from the latest round of levelling up funding announced on Monday.

It builds on the £16 million award Montgomeryshire received in the first round of the Levelling Up Fund for the restoration of the Montgomery Canal.

Lake Vyrnwy.

Craig Williams MP and Member of the Senedd Russell George, welcomed the news.

They said the bid focuses on transport investment in Powys to support the recreational tourism industry as well as the wider economy in Mid Wales. There will be refurbishments to bridges across the county as well as a large scale highway resurfacing programme.

Some of these projects include the footbridges at Berriew, Caersws, Garthmyl and Llangadfan; and resurfacing at locations across the county, especially tourist hotspots such as Lake Vyrnwy and Llanrhaedr.

Mr Williams said: “This is another huge investment from UK Conservative Government into Montgomeryshire. Working together we have again been successful in securing Levelling Up Fund investment to the tune of £17 million.

“This will go towards key local infrastructure improvements right across the county. This will be hugely important in supporting Montgomeryshire’s economy, growth and tourism. I will be working alongside Russell George to ensure deliverability and value for money.”

Mr George said: “Historically Montgomeryshire and Powys missed out on huge investments like today’s announcement by the UK Government of a further £17 million from the Levelling Up Fund. Working alongside Craig Williams MP, I am delighted that tens of millions pounds of investment into our area over the last three years has been secured.

“This money will provide much-needed investment to enable significant projects to move forward, which will strengthen our tourism offer, and make Mid Wales an attractive place to visit.”

No Shropshire projects are included in the levelling up announcement. Both Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Councils have previously received money from the Government’s levelling up awards.

Telford & Wrekin Council was given £20m earlier this year for a new digital skills hub and the redevelopment of Telford Theatre in Oakengates. The council also received £9.8m towards to the regeneration of Wellington town centre.

Shropshire Council has seen mixed results from its funding bids, but was given £18.7m towards the regeneration of the Riverside area of Shrewsbury earlier this year.

The council did however fail with other funding bids. Two, for infrastructure schemes in Craven Arms and Oswestry, had first been submitted under round one of the fund, while the third – for a county-wide bus service overhaul dubbed ‘Shropshire Connect’ – followed a separate unsuccessful bid for £98m of ‘Bus Back Better’ funding last year.

Levelling Up awards for schemes in the West Midlands

Shropshire is, however, likely to benefit from reallocated funding in the wake of the Government’s decision to scrap the Northern leg of HS2. That includes the Government pledge to pay for all of Shrewsbury’s North West Relief Road.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said the money would help people, adding: “Levelling up means delivering people’s priorities and bringing transformational change in communities that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued. This funding sits alongside our wider initiatives to spread growth, through devolving money and power out of Westminster.”