£50k fund to support north Anglesey now open for grant bids
A £50,000 regeneration fund to support parts of Anglesey that have suffered several economic setbacks over recent years is to be opened up.
The north of the island, which is also further away from the main A55 transport artery, was dealt a major economic blow last year when Hitachi announced it was halting the Wylfa Newydd development due to the project’s rising costs and the inability to find the necessary capital.
Further bad news came shortly thereafter when German firm, Rehau announced the closure of its Amlwch factory, leading to the loss of around 100 jobs.
Leading to concerns that the creation of thousands of expected jobs would not be realised, Anglesey Council compiled an blueprint known as the North Anglesey Economic Regeneration Plan which was later backed up with a £495,000 pledge from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s (NDA).
In a bid to support businesses and events in the area, Anglesey Council has confirmed it is now making £50,000 of an overall £500,000 pot available for bids from local groups.
As a result, small grants of up to £5,000 will be available to help businesses and community groups in the Talybolion and Twrcelyn wards as well as the community of Moelfre, with the authority still supportive of the Wylfa Newydd project being revived.
The council leader, Llinos Medi, said: “With a robust and ambitious plan in place to help regenerate north Anglesey, we can now start putting this significant and valuable NDA funding to good use.
“The North Anglesey Regeneration Fund will provide small grants for suitable projects aimed at supporting economic growth, promoting the Welsh language, creating jobs and improving skills, partnership working, protecting the environment and creating sustainable communities.
“I would encourage local businesses and community groups to apply if they have projects that meet the relevant criteria and can help regenerate their local communities.”
With hopes that more funding will be secured in order to bolster the overall package, council bosses hope that the regeneration plan will deliver more job opportunities and support infrastructure, making it “an attractive place to live, work and visit”.
Among the potential investment opportunities raised is the former Octel bromine works site in Amlwch and Shell base in Rhosgoch, which have both lain dormant for several years.
Attracting more tourists to the area is also explored, with local assets including the working Melin Llynnon windmill in Llanddeusant and Parys Mountain in Amlwch.
Other initiatives outlined include seeking alternative funding sources to pay for the dropped A5025 road improvement project and options to re-open the former Lein Amlwch railway line, as well as funding to spruce up Amlwch town centre and the possibility of establishing the island’s second 3G artificial football pitch within the town.
Anglesey’s Major Projects and Economic Development Portfolio holder, Cllr Carwyn Jones, added: “A great deal of work and effort has gone into shaping our North Anglesey Economic Regeneration Plan and it gives us a platform and clear direction of travel for the area.
“We are committed to working with key partners to create jobs and support economic growth in the area.
“This will take time and a great deal of work, but the launch of this new fund, thanks to the NDA, will provide a real impetus for economic regeneration.”
Two £25,000 funding rounds will be held during 2020. Round one applications must be submitted before March 31st; round two applications must be submitted between May 1st and May 31st 2020.
For more information, visit www.anglesey.gov.uk/northangleseyregenfund
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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