Minister announces £5.3m fund to help town centres recover from coronavirus pandemic during Rhyl visit
The Welsh Government has made up to £5.3 million available to help town centres recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
During a visit to Rhyl, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn announced the funding, which will be used to fund adaptions in town centres to support traders and improve public safety.
The MS said the capital money had been re-purposed from the Transforming Towns programme and could be used to fund changes such as; outdoor awnings, outdoor tables and chairs, outdoor heating, outdoor screening, bollards and planters.
Other uses could include small green infrastructure schemes, electricity supply and lighting to outdoor trading spaces, the temporary use of vacant buildings and the establishment of local markets.
During the visit to Denbighshire, the Deputy Minister saw first-hand how Welsh Government funds will be used to deliver the Greening Rhyl infrastructure schemes.
Initiatives include suspending parking to increase space for pedestrians and cyclists to maintain social distancing and enhance sustainable and active travel.
Rhyl is already benefiting from significant government investment including backing for the nearly completed refurbishment of the former Costigans pub site to provide high quality business accommodation.
The minister said: “We all know that town centres are facing huge challenges in light of Covid-19 but I am committed to ensuring Welsh town centres not only survive but thrive.
“Investing in our town centres is as relevant as ever but as we do not yet know the longer term impact coronavirus will have on our town centres, it is vital any short term actions have a lasting impact and enhance the look and feel of our town centres.
“This is why I’m announcing that £5.3 million will be available during the remainder of 2020-21 to fund adaptations in town centres, which will facilitate trading and public safety in response to coronavirus.
“This will include things like outdoor tables and chairs, awnings and planters to ensure that areas are segregated and safe and that business can operate under current social distancing requirements.
“These actions will provide a sense of wellbeing, safety and confidence to encourage people to return to the high street.”
Denbighshire Council leader, Cllr Hugh Evans, said: “I welcome this funding announcement from the Welsh Government.
“This support will help town centres across Wales as the recovery from coronavirus continues.
“All towns in Denbighshire are struggling during this time and supporting town centres and businesses remains a priority for the Council.
“Our plans for the recovery phase are very much in line with creating greener, cleaner and more connected town centres while supporting businesses and ensuring the safety of the public.”
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