A NEW Welsh Government investment scheme that will boost six Mid Wales towns went live on Monday, June 10.

Brecon, Lampeter, Llandrindod Wells, Llandysul, Newtown and Tregaron are all set to benefit from the new town centre investment scheme.

Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Hannah Blythyn announced £1.5m of Welsh Government funding for a new £2.14m Town Centre Property Investment Fund across Powys and Ceredigion.

The fund aims to bring vacant commercial, residential and retail space back into use across the six Mid Wales towns.

Ms Blythyn said: “We want to support local businesses, grow our fantastic town centres and create job opportunities in Mid Wales. Creating more good quality commercial and retail space will help with this, as will creating homes in the centre of our towns, so people can live and work centrally and contribute to the local economy.

“This fund will help to create opportunities out of empty properties and attract more people to our town centres. I look forward to seeing some exciting refurbishments, and businesses growing and prospering across towns in Ceredigion and Powys as a result.”

The fund will be a package of support including loans, private investment and grants, and people applying will have to demonstrate that existing grant and loan finance options have been properly considered and exhausted before they seek funding via this route.

Powys County Council will manage the administration of the programme. The email address for applications is regeneration@powys.gov.uk

Powys Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Martin Weale said: “We are committed to making sure our town centres are attractive, vibrant places for people to live, work and visit. Today’s news will provide a major boost for the individual towns and support their local businesses.

“The funding will also support our wider aspirations to strengthen the whole economy by stimulating regeneration work and building upon the many major investment projects that the council has in progress and is planning across Powys. The council’s regeneration team are hard at work on these projects and are the first point of contact for anyone interested in the scheme.”

Councillor Rhodri Evans is Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for Economy and Regeneration. He said, “Lampeter, Llandysul and Tregaron are important towns that are essential to many communities within Ceredigion. I’m pleased to see the funding coming into force. In a difficult economic climate, I’m certain that this will add an extra vibrancy to these towns.

“We are committed to supporting the local economy and we don’t want to see empty buildings where they could be brought back into use for businesses or homes.”

The Welsh Government funding is part of the Targeted Regeneration and Investment programme, which is providing £100m of capital funding across Wales over three years to support regeneration projects in town centres and neighbouring areas.

This funding is supported by estimated further investment of at least £60 million from other organisations and businesses, providing an overall boost of £160 million to communities all over Wales.