1. ITV Report

Quarter of a billion pounds for Wales' rural communities

Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images

A £223m investment in rural communities has been promised by the Welsh Government.

On the day before Article 50 is triggered, the Environment Secretary, Lesley Griffiths AM, announced the joint Welsh Government and EU funding.

The money will go towards helping rural communities 'to be more resiliant during the post-EU transition period.'

The Government say it will help Wales' farmers, food producers, landowners, and others, start to make future plans and shape their businesses to cope with leaving the EU.

Clarity on these future funding arrangements was a key issue raised during a number of Brexit meetings.

This funding means a wide range of important schemes can now open, including:

  • Farm Business Grant
  • Glastir Advanced
  • Food Business Investment Scheme
  • Co-operation and Supply Chain Development
  • Glastir Woodland Creation and Rural Community Development Fund.

The Cabinet Secretary made the decision to commit the remaining EU part of the funding, £126.3m, after the UK Government guaranteed funding for all projects signed before the UK leaves the EU.

Previously, the Chancellor only guaranteed to finance projects signed before the 2016 Autumn Statement.

The Welsh Government will be providing £96.4m.

Tomorrow promises to be a significant day for Wales and the UK, when the prospect of a future outside the EU starts to become very much a reality. It also signals the official start of a period of uncertainty for all involved in Wales’ rural communities. We still don’t know what the future landscape will look like but we are pressing the UK Government to honour the commitment made during the referendum campaign that we will not lose out on money we would otherwise have received from the EU.

I am pleased to confirm, therefore, we are committing the entirety of the remaining funding under the RDP, worth nearly a quarter of a billion pounds. I hope this provides reassurance to Wales’ rural communities who have benefited greatly from the wide range of programmes under the RDP.

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs