£100m in regeneration cash for 11 councils in Wales

Swansea's High Street has come in for much criticism
Image caption Swansea Council will use its £8m for several projects in the city centre

Facelifts are on the way for communities across Wales after 11 councils were awarded a share of a £100m regeneration grant from the Welsh government.

Major improvements will be carried out in town and city centres, while a canal restoration is also planned.

The scheme is expected to create hundreds of jobs, increase housing supply and upgrade buildings.

Regeneration Minister Carl Sargeant said it would make a real difference.

The local authorities awarded funding through the Vibrant and Viable Places Grant were Bridgend, Conwy, Flintshire, Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, Torfaen and Wrexham.

Councils were invited to bid for up to £15m for projects aimed at creating jobs, tackling poverty, increasing housing stock and improving community facilities.

Conwy council will use the funds to continue the regeneration of the seafront at Colwyn Bay, while Swansea said it would put the money towards several projects in the city centre.

In Newport, the money will help convert the former King William pub into flats, and will help bring key buildings back into use.

About 326 affordable homes will be built in Wrexham, creating jobs in the construction industry, the council said.

Parts of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal will be restored in Torfaen and money will also be used to further upgrade Pontypool town centre.

Anglesey council said it would use its share of the funding to "transform" Holyhead, which had suffered poverty, unemployment and deprivation, the authority said.

It is not yet clear what kinds of projects will benefit there.

Mr Sargeant said: "These worthy projects will make a real difference to their communities and I'm delighted with the quality of the bids received.

"Many of the successful bids focus on the regeneration of town centres, which is about a lot more than filling empty shops.

"It is about creating a diverse and vibrant town centre with other services such as leisure, health and education at its heart and making the town centre an attractive place to live."

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