Final stage of bids for £90m regeneration cash reached

Swansea's High Street has come in for much criticism A project to revitalise Swansea city centre will learn if its bid has been successful in 2014

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Eleven regeneration schemes across Wales have reached the final stage of a process to win a share of up to £90m capital funding over three years.

The projects are in Bridgend, Colwyn Bay, Deeside, Holyhead, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Port Talbot, Pontypridd, Pontypool, Swansea and Wrexham.

Welsh ministers will announce the successful programmes in the New Year.

They said a further £5m would go to projects in the most deprived areas whose bids were rejected.

In a written statement, Regeneration Minister Carl Sargeant said his officials would also work with councils whose schemes had dropped out of the Vibrant and Viable Places programme to "refine and explore other funding streams for their regeneration proposals".

Mr Sargeant said the smaller, £5m fund would go to projects containing wards within the top 10% of deprived areas, according to the 2011 Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Schemes in Tredegar, Rhymney, Grangetown in Cardiff, Llanelli, Rhyl, Caernarfon and Barry will be considered.

'Slap in the face'

But Vale of Glamorgan Conservative MP Alun Cairns said he was angry and frustrated that Barry would not receive the £15m funding it had asked for to regenerate the town.

"This is a slap in the face for Barry - I simply cannot believe that we have been left out," he said.

"We are already one of the poorest funded council areas in Wales and this was one of our chances to gain extra cash."

Denbighshire council said it was "deeply disappointed" that its bid for £12m for Rhyl town centre had failed.

"We are bitterly disappointed to have lost this opportunity to progress with our plans, but we won't let it stop us," it said in a statement.

The authority said it would look for alternative sources of funding, including the £5m fund announced by Mr Sargeant.

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