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£1.7m funding programme to revitalise Neath Port Talbot’s valleys and villages is now open

Neath Port Talbot

NEATH Port Talbot Council is inviting project proposals to its Valleys and Villages Prosperity Fund (VVPF).

The £1.7m VVPF is part funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) and is part of Neath Port Talbot’s £27.3m SPF funding allocation over the next three years.

The VVPF aims to address the decline in rural communities throughout Neath Port Talbot, particularly the reduced demand for high street retail and increased demand for housing, recreational and active travel projects.

Targeted areas include the Neath Valley, Afan Valley, Swansea Valley, Upper Amman Valley and Dulais Valley.

The VVPF aims to have a positive impact on key issues for the county borough including job creation, health and wellbeing, pride of place and economic growth.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 31st December 2023 and all projects must be completed by 31st December 2024. Applicants can apply for up to 70% of their total, eligible project costs, up to a maximum of £250,000.

Project proposals could include:

  • Commercial property grants
  • Residential units (conversion from commercial to housing)
  • Green infrastructure and biodiversity projects
  • Public realm improvement projects
  • Strategic acquisitions
  • Town centre markets and shop frontage schemes.
  • Digital towns
  • Active travel
  • Leisure and recreational facilities

Potential applicants can find more information, including the VVPF Applicant Guidance and an Expression of Interest Form on this webpage – UK Shared Prosperity Fund: Open Call for Applications to the Valleys and Villages Prosperity Fund (VVPF) – Neath Port Talbot Council (npt.gov.uk)

For an informal discussion on any project proposals, please email [email protected] or telephone 01639 686073.

The VVPF has been established as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to target areas of Neath Port Talbot which do not fall into other funding categories such as the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns initiative.

Cllr Jeremy Hurley, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economic Growth, said: “The VVPF will bridge the gap in funding across the county borough so people are not missing out on funding opportunities.

“It will make a big contribution to the improvement of the valleys and villages areas of Neath Port Talbot, making them a better place to live and work. It will also help meet the demand for commercial and residential units in areas where these are wanted.

“The VVPF will directly support the delivery of the council’s Wellbeing Objectives as well as the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. Under this scheme, our valley communities will benefit from improvements made to their villages, that will help with the creation of new local jobs and an improved perception of place.”

Potential applicants who will be eligible to apply for  grant funding for their project proposals will include owners of vacant commercial premises, land owners, town and community councils, local authorities, business improvement districts, and social businesses.