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Levelling-up Fund: Potential Outcomes

Volume 703: debated on Wednesday 17 November 2021

10. What assessment the Government have made of the potential outcomes of the £121 million levelling-up fund allocated to Wales. (904167)

Wales will benefit significantly from the levelling-up fund, with projects focused on delivering jobs, promoting growth and levelling up communities. In Denbighshire and Wrexham, including in my hon. Friend’s constituency of Clwyd South, communities will benefit from over £16.4 million in UK Government investment through round 1 of the levelling-up fund and the community renewal fund.

How would the Minister assess the long-term economic, social and cultural impact of, and benefits arising from, the levelling-up fund in Wales, particularly our Clwyd South bid, which he has mentioned, which will send a great deal of badly needed investment into the world heritage site at the Trevor basin, projects in Llangollen and Chirk, and a steam railway in and around Corwen?

The successful levelling-up fund bid at the Pontcysyllte aqueduct and the canal world heritage centre will obviously maximise tourism in the area and provide significant long-term economic benefits to my hon. Friend’s constituency. However, it is just one small part of a much larger programme including the £121 million levelling-up fund, the £46 million community renewal fund and £2.5 billion extra money in a record block grant for the Welsh Labour Government, showing that this Government are committed to strengthening the Union, supporting Wales, and ensuring that jobs and prosperity flow to all parts of the United Kingdom.

One of the problems that we have in the Rhondda is a large number of disused former coal tips, one of which, as the Minister knows, slid down into the river last year. It cost us £14 million to rectify that, and we have another five similar tips in the Rhondda. Can we please have some more money to ensure that we do not have another Aberfan disaster?

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that, as I said earlier, this is a devolved matter. He will also be aware that more than £2.5 billion of extra money has been provided to the Welsh Labour Government. If there are dangerous coal tips in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency, I urge him to talk to his colleagues in Welsh Labour, ask them to provide the money and get the problem resolved as quickly as possible.