Welsh Government
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“EU-backed Arbed scheme is cutting fuel bills and creating local jobs” – Jane Hutt

An EU-backed Welsh Government scheme to help tackle fuel poverty in the poorest areas of Wales is helping to reduce fuel bills and create local jobs, Finance Minister Jane Hutt said yesterday.

On a visit to Melin Homes in Torfaen, the Minister saw how the Welsh Government’s flagship £45 million Arbed 2 project is providing social, economic & environmental benefits.

Melin Homes, which is delivering the Arbed 2 scheme in South Wales, has embedded the Community Benefits approach into their procurement practices in order to boost local economies. This involves using local businesses to manufacture, supply and install as many of the energy efficiency measures as possible and provide training and employment opportunities to local workers.

Applying Community Benefits to public procurement through inclusion of social clauses is a key requirement of the Wales Procurement Policy Statement, issued by the Finance Minister in December 2012, and widely adopted across the Welsh public sector. It is also a key feature of the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Action Plan by helping to boost jobs and growth, and provide training for disadvantaged people.

To date, 100% of the £14.3m project expenditure is being re-invested in Wales, with 45 disadvantaged and previously unemployed people receiving employment, and 431 weeks of training being delivered. For every £1 spent, £2 was generated in the Welsh economy. In addition, 100% of their sub-contractors were paid within 30 days.

Arbed 2 has so far created 204 sustainable employment and training opportunities, while saving 3,785 households an average of £305 per year on their fuel bills.

Jane Hutt said:

“I am delighted to visit Melin Homes to see first hand the positive results they have achieved through embedding Community Benefits approach into their Arbed project.

“This approach is delivering jobs and training for people across South Wales as well as using local supply chains to source Welsh products and using Wales-based companies to carry out the work.

“I am determined to ensure this exemplar approach can be replicated across the housing sector and wider so similar positive outcomes for the local economy and residents of Wales can be achieved.”

Related Links

Arbed - Strategic energy performance investment programme

Welsh Government Procurement Policy

Community Benefits: Delivering Maximum Value for the Welsh Pound

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