AM WELCOMES LAUNCH OF VALLEYS MINISTERIAL TASKFORCE PLAN

Good-quality jobs and the right skills to do them; better public services and local communities.

These are the three priorities for Our Valleys, Our Future – the high-level action plan by the Ministerial Taskforce for the South Wales Valleys, launched by Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language Minister Alun Davies.

Our Valleys, Our Future has been developed following feedback from people living and working in the Valleys.

It sets out a range of aims and actions in each of the three priority areas, including:

  • Closing the employment gap between the South Wales Valleys and the rest of Wales by getting an additional 7,000 people into work by 2021 and creating thousands of new, fair, secure and sustainable jobs;
  • Launching three pathfinder projects to look at how services and local delivery can be better joined-up in Llanhilleth, Ferndale and in Glynneath and Banwen;
  • Exploring the development of a Valleys Landscape Park, which has the potential to help local communities use their natural and environmental resources for tourism, energy generation and health and wellbeing purposes.

Commenting on the launch Dawn Bowden AM said:

“I am delighted with the work undertaken by the Valleys Taskforce over the last 12 months and am particularly pleased that the action plan has been drawn up following wide scale consultation with local communities and businesses.”

The taskforce was set up a year ago to work with communities and local businesses across the South Wales Valleys to deliver lasting economic change in the region; to

The taskforce will work to maximize job opportunities in the local economy – businesses such as retail, care and the food industry. It will also encourage and provide support for existing and potential entrepreneurs.

Our Valleys, Our Future sets out a range of actions to achieve this goal, including creating six new strategic sites in specific areas across the Valleys which will look to focus spending to provide opportunities for the private sector to invest and create new jobs. The taskforce will work with local communities and local authorities to develop these hubs further to ensure their focus reflects the opportunities in each area.

Included amongst the six sites is:

  • Merthyr Tydfil, focusing on office, industrial and residential developmentIt will also explore the concept of a Valleys Landscape Park to help local communities build on their many natural assets, including the potential forIt will also explore the concept of a Valleys Landscape Park to help local communities build on their many natural assets, including the potential for community energy generation and tourism.Dawn Bowden AM added:“I welcome Merthyr Tydfil being identified as one of the strategic sites to become a development under this ambitious plan.