Welsh Government
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Huw Lewis wants more Vibrant and Viable Places

The Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis yesterday launched a new framework for the Welsh Government’s regeneration policy.

Regeneration is about transforming underperforming places and ensuring economic growth which is inclusive, sustainable and focused. ‘Vibrant and Viable Places’ sets out proposals for new national outcomes and regional governance for partnership delivery of regeneration.

Mr Lewis said,

“Our vision is that everybody in Wales should live in a vibrant, viable and sustainable community with a strong local economy.

“I am acutely aware of the unprecedented economic circumstances in which we now find ourselves. Budget constraints across the public sector and beyond, combined with the changing role of town centres in the way people access retail and other services, present major challenges in terms of the way we have pursued regeneration in Wales to date. It will be essential that our proposals for change should reflect these new challenges as well as providing an effective means of addressing them in communities around Wales.

“I believe that by working together we can deliver even more, despite our limited resources. I look forward to working with partners from across all sectors and all parts of Wales to achieve this. The first step is making sure we have a framework for collaboration and delivery, agreed by all partners. That’s why I am undertaking this consultation process; I look forward to receiving all of your contributions.”

Earlier this year the Minister instigated a policy review of our approach to regeneration. The review was led by the Welsh Government, with input from the Centre for Regeneration Excellence Wales, the National Regeneration Panel and specialist consultants who carried out some independent evaluation of work in this area. The review also benefited from the work undertaken by the National Assembly for Wales Enterprise and Business Committee during their inquiry on town centre regeneration.

Three key messages that emerged from the review were:

  • Strengthened governance is needed to improve delivery. In particular, there is an opportunity to drive regional collaboration in a more structured way, including effective spatial planning for regeneration.
  • Partnership is critical. Sustainable regeneration can only be delivered through genuine engagement with communities, local authorities and other public sector organisations, the third sector and the private sector.
  • The Regeneration Areas approach is transforming some of our most disadvantaged places, but there are still opportunities to improve the way the Welsh Government and its partners invest at local level.

‘Vibrant and Viable Places’ describes proposals for addressing these issues. The document sets out a vision, definition and national outcomes for regeneration, which reinforce the breadth of activity which needs to be considered and the need for partnership across Government and beyond.

The consultation proposals include:

  • New national outcomes
  • A people and place based approach which is well evidenced and evaluated
  • A strengthened national, regional and local delivery structure
  • A renewed commitment to cross-portfolio working within Government
  • Ideas on how to direct targeted investment

A consultation exercise on these proposals will run during the autumn, and an announcement about our new policy direction including specific regeneration investment criteria will be made early next year.

This consultation will be supported by events across Wales including a Regeneration Summit on 15th November in north Wales.

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Vibrant and Viable Places

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