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12th January 2024

Levelling up: how Wales is benefitting from investment

Wales has received £2.5bn of investment from the UK Government’s levelling up funding to date, the equivalent of £800 for every person in Wales.

The Levelling Up Fund was announced as part of the 2020 Spending Review. So far, projects across the UK have been awarded funding in three rounds: October 2021, January 2023 and November 2023.

The Levelling Up Fund, along with other regional, community and prosperity funds, is designed to benefit communities in Wales by transforming local areas, creating jobs and growing the economy.

The investments include:

  • £320m in investment zones – Two investment zones were announced in 2023 for north-east Wales (Wrexham and Flintshire) and south-east Wales (Cardiff and Newport) in a bid to boost economic growth and productivity. Investment zones are intended to form knowledge-intensive growth clusters around key sectors in the chosen areas such as advanced manufacturing and digital technologies.
  • £52m in Freeports – Two Freeports were also announced for Anglesey and the Celtic Freeport (Port Talbot and Milford Haven). A Freeport is a special economic zone centred around air, rail or shipping ports and benefit from a variety of tax reliefs including business rates and land transaction tax, as well as access to simplified customs arrangements.
  • £790m in city and growth deals – Significant investment has been made into the city and growth deals which cover every part of Wales: the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, the Mid Wales Growth Deal, the Swansea Bay City Deal and the North Wales Growth Deal.

 

David TC Davies, Secretary of State for Wales, said:

“2023 was a fantastic year for both the scale and pace of new investments in Wales and I’m delighted to see that our levelling up funding for communities across Wales now stands at more than £2.5bn.”

Paul Butterworth, CEO of Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, said:

“The levelling up funding Wales has received to date is an incredible amount and will make a huge difference to communities across the country.

“2023 saw significant funding for areas like investment zones, freeports, and city and growth deals, which will play a key role in the economic development of the chosen regions.

“As this funding aims to encourage innovation, develop skills and attract further investment, we look forward to seeing how future funding will continue to drive success and prosperity in Wales.”

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