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“£76.5m infrastructure boost to create jobs and growth” – Jane Hutt

“£76.5m infrastructure boost to create jobs and growth” – Jane Hutt

A £76.5m funding package for housing, schools, flood protection and transport will support around 1,400 jobs and boost economic growth, Finance Minister Jane Hutt said today.

Since the publication of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for Growth and Jobs in May 2012, the Welsh Government has delivered additional investment of around £1.1 billion in infrastructure projects across Wales by maximising the use of reduced capital budgets and by generating investment of around £750m through innovative finance.

The additional £75m allocation announced by Jane Hutt today includes:

  • A £30m package of investment to increase housing supply, including:  
    • An additional £20m for the Social Housing Grant specifically to target investment in providing housing for individuals and families that may be adversely affected as a result of the UK Government’s reductions in Housing Benefit; and
    • £10m to expand the pilot of the Houses into Homes initiative to bring empty homes in Wales back into use.
  • A £25m package of investment in education to further accelerate the 21st Century Schools Programme.
  • £11.5 million for a railway and station in Ebbw Vale town centre, as an initial element of a wider programme to create a more integrated transport network in South East Wales and support the City Region strategy.  This investment will be a further boost to the regeneration of the local area.  
  • £10m additional investment in the Flood and Coastal Risk Management Programme, to protect homes, businesses and communities from the risk of flooding.

Jane Hutt said:

“The £76.5m of additional capital investment I am announcing today supports the priorities set out in the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for Growth and Jobs and ensures every Welsh pound is used to boost jobs and growth.

“The main benefits of investment are gained over the long term.  But in present circumstances, the jobs created in constructing new infrastructure are vitally important, and this latest package is expected to support around 1,400 jobs during the construction phase.

“This significant package of investment clearly demonstrates our commitment to stimulating economic growth, creating jobs, mitigating the impact of the UK Government’s Welfare Reforms and reducing poverty in Wales.”

Jane Hutt added:

“Based on the latest OBR public expenditure forecasts, by 2017-18 our capital budget will have fallen by a further 20% in real terms.  We expect to have up to £4bn less capital available over the ten years from 2012-13 to 2021-22 period than was available in the previous ten years.

“Despite these severe reductions, we are using every tool at our disposal to maximise investment in our infrastructure, creating the conditions necessary to enable businesses to create jobs and boost sustainable economic growth while delivering real and long-lasting change for people in Wales.”