- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Latest News
A £617.5 million Welsh Labour Government funding boost for housing, transport and business growth to support the Welsh economy will help improve educational attainment, tackle poverty and protect the vulnerable.
The investment, which was announced this month by Finance Minister Jane Hutt, will create or sustain 11,000 jobs across Wales over the next three years, providing much needed employment and apprentice opportunities in the construction industry. The funding boost comes despite the fact that since 2010, the Tory-led UK Government has slashed Wales’ capital budget. By 2015-16 it will be 33% lower in real terms than in 2009-10.
The investments outlined includes:
- Transport: £62m for phase one of a new scheme to create a South East Wales metro system through better bus and rail links; £40m for the dualling of the A465 between Gilwern and Brynmawr; £40m for improvements to the M4 Brynglas Tunnels; £17m for improvements to the A55 in North Wales;
- Housing: £170m including £140m between 2014/15 and 2015/16 for Help to Buy Cymru – a new shared equity scheme for Wales to help people to purchase new build homes. This is in addition to the £34.5m which will be invested in the scheme during the current financial year. This will create an investment of over £800m in an estimated 5,000 new build homes;
- Economic development: £82m for Finance Wales funds to provide access to finance for SMEs, support business growth, exports and create and safeguard jobs;
- Cancer care: Velindre NHS Trust are also looking at the development of a new Cancer Centre, with an estimated cost in the region of £200 million, to ensure Welsh NHS patients continue to receive the best care and cancer treatments. The Trust is working with its partners to identify innovative finance opportunities for attracting the capital investment which will increase Velindre’s reputation as a Centre of Excellence;
- Healthcare facilities: £38m for improvements in health facilities including the second and final phase of the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales;
- Flying Start: £6m to ensure a further 3,000 children and their families benefit from this scheme to meet Welsh Labour’s manifesto commitment of 36,000 places, as well as expanding provision in areas where there are insufficient facilities to meet demand;
- Arbed: £70m for the Welsh Government’s scheme to improve the energy efficiency of Welsh homes focusing on those in fuel poverty;
- Flood and Coastal Defence: £20m to support a programme of improvements which will benefit an estimated 2,000 homes and businesses across Wales and protect vital transport infrastructure.
The Minister has also made additional capital allocations in the following areas:
- £15m for the capital element of an innovative new Intermediate Care Fund to support independent living working across health, housing and social care sectors;
- An additional £9.5m for the Health Technology and Telemedicine Fund for the provision of robotic cancer treatment equipment and further investment in telemedicine.
Since publication of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan in 2012, the Welsh Government has contributed additional capital investment of £2bn to provide a major boost to economic growth and jobs in Wales.