Wales politics

Welsh assembly inquiry into town centre regeneration

High street shoppers
Image caption High Street businesses have been hit by inflation and public spending cuts

The regeneration of town centres across Wales is to be the focus of an inquiry by assembly members.

The assembly's enterprise and business committee will study the impact of out of town retail parks, and ask whether enough is being done to help local communities and businesses.

The move comes as the retail sector struggles in the wake of inflation, job insecurity and public spending cuts.

Committee chair Andrew RT Davies urged interested parties to contribute.

Mr Davies, South Wales Central AM and the recently elected leader of the Conservatives in the assembly, said the committee hoped to learn lessons from successful approaches already used in some towns where regeneration initiatives had boosted local employment opportunities.

"A number of areas across Wales have benefited from this type of regeneration and we want to ensure that the Welsh Government is delivering these projects as successfully as possible," he said.

"As a committee, we urge anyone with interest and knowledge in this area to submit evidence to inform our scrutiny and shape the inquiry."

Earlier this month The Federation of Small Businesses in Wales (FSB) called on ministers to draw up a retail strategy to support town centre traders.

The FSB said High Streets in Wales needed a plan to help small shops through their economic difficulties.

It wants supermarket schemes to include a study on their effect on local stores and for shopping developments to subsidise space for smaller outlets.

At the time the Welsh Government said discussions with the business organisation were under way.

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