FIRST Minister Carwyn Jones, believes that the Newtown bypass will deliver a real boost to Powys as he visited the site of the £95million scheme.

Contractors are now more than two years into construction and the project is supposed to be completed in early 2019.

As part of the development, the bridge across the Dolfor Valley was recently built which allows the remaining earthwork operations to take place.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “I’ve been really pleased to see the progress being made on the Newtown Bypass.

"This is a significant development which will improve safety, relieve traffic congestion and ensure better access to jobs and services, delivering a real boost to the local economy.

“A strong emphasis has been placed on providing local employment and training opportunities and there are currently 16 apprentices and graduate trainees working on the bypass which is really good news.

“We have also worked closely with Powys County Council to develop Active Travel provisions which have been included as part of the scheme.

"The Newtown bypass is a great example of the Welsh Government’s commitment to invest in our transport infrastructure, help industry grow and deliver for communities in Mid Wales.”

During the tour of the site Mr Jones marvelled that the scale of the work was much bigger than expected and he also believes that the by-pass will not be detrimental to Newtown.

He believes the need for Powys and Newtown councils to put up brown signs so that people understand the heritage, as a place to visit as well as a stopoff whle travelling,

The Bypass to the south of Newtown will be approximately 6.5km long and extends from the A489 Llanidloes Road near Glandulas Holiday Park (West of Newtown) to the A483 Pool Road (East of Newtown).

The scheme will improve safety by allowing large high sided heavy goods and agricultural vehicles to travel through the area away from residential areas as well as reducing traffic congestion on nearby roads.

During the visit, the First Minister met with the workforce including apprentices working on the bypass. £10.3 million has been spent on employing people from Wales which includes apprentices.

Small and Medium sized enterprises in Wales have also benefited from £11.5 million spend as a result of the bypass development.