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Council leaders meet governments over Growing Mid Wales Growth Deal

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lLEADERS of Powys and Ceredigion County Councils in their roles as joint chairs of the Growing Mid Wales Joint Committee met with David TC Davies MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the UK Government in Wales, and Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy to discuss the Growth Deal for Mid Wales and deliver the next important step.

Following the approval of the Growth Deal Portfolio Business Case at the Growing Mid Wales Joint Committee on 21 September, both Ceredigion County Council and Powys County Council’s cabinet members also went on to unanimously endorse the business case for formal submission to Governments.

The purpose of the Portfolio Business Case is to provide an overview of the scope, function and arrangements for the Mid Wales Growth Deal Portfolio – on the basis of an initial set of Programme and Project proposals, that can now be brought forward.

The Portfolio Business Case sets out the headline figures for capital expenditure that the Local Authorities are seeking from both the UK and Welsh Government via the Mid Wales Growth Deal, amounting to a total capital grant of £110m.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council and joint chair of the Growing Mid Wales Board: “Approval of the business case will enable us to draw down funding to support projects in the area that will boost the local economy and support job creation. We’re really getting the ball rolling now in the development of the deal which is so important for the region.”

The Portfolio Business Case will now be formally reviewed through the Accounting Officer Review on behalf of the Welsh Cities and Growth Deals Implementation Board (WCGIB) – the Joint Board between UK and Welsh Governments that govern Welsh City and Growth Deals. It will then go on to underpin the Final Deal Agreement between the region and both Governments – which the ambition remains to conclude before the end of the year.

Leader of Powys County Council, Councillor Rosemarie Harris said: “Being able to discuss the business case in detail and share the vision with David TC Davies and Vaughan Gething is a very big step forward for us and we very much value their interest. A lot of work has gone into the development of these documents to this stage – and there is lot to do yet.”

Both Leaders added: “We are pleased to have reached this point, and we hope we can conclude the Deal before the end of the year so that we can work with our businesses and communities to bring forward projects in earnest next year.”

Minister for the UK Government, David TC Davies, said “It’s great to hear more detail of the ambitious plans for the Mid Wales Growth Deal and take this next step towards achieving our goals. The support of the UK Government, working with our partners, means that we can deliver real improvements for the people of Mid Wales”

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “The Welsh Government is fully committed to working with partners to progress the Growth Deal for Mid Wales, so I’m pleased we are now a step closer to a Full Deal Agreement being jointly agreed. I am now keen to see the Deal being implemented, so that local people, businesses and communities start to see investments being made in projects and programmes which will help deliver tangible and significant benefits to the Mid Wales economy.

“As we move ahead with the recovery and reconstruction work arising from the Covid pandemic, we have ambitious plans for Mid Wales, which we are taking forward with our partners in a spirit of collaboration. The Growth Deal is a component part of our plans to create new jobs and opportunities in local communities, which will help us deliver a greener, fairer and more prosperous Mid Wales.”

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Business

Businesses will soon be able to access funding from the Welsh Government

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BUSINESSES in Pembrokeshire which have been impacted by the move to Alert Level 2 Covid-19 measures in Wales will soon be able to register or apply for Welsh Government funding.

The First Minister announced a £120m package of support for nightclubs, events, retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses and their supply chains, impacted by the move to Alert Level 2.

An eligibility checker for businesses has now gone live.

Businesses are urged to check their eligibility at: https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/businesssupport?_ga=2.234856926.1944247233.1641292011-360841121.1641292011

The above link also features further information and a series of FAQs about the latest round of support.

The funding will take the form of three elements.

Non Domestic Rates (NDR) linked funding of up to £6,000.

Retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business who pay Non Domestic Rates will be entitled to a payment of £2,000, £4,000 or £6,000 depending on their rateable value.

Businesses will need to re-register their details with Pembrokeshire County Council through an online process in order to receive their payments.

The Council will also deliver a discretionary fund to support sole traders, freelancers and businesses who don’t pay rates, with funding of £500 – £2000.

The Local Authority discretionary fund will be via a short application process with sole traders, freelancers and taxi drivers able to apply for £500 and businesses that employ people but do not pay business rates will be able to apply for £2,000.

Pembrokeshire County Council plans to open the schemes on Monday 10th January for the NDR related fund and Monday 17th January for the Discretionary fund.

See notes below for further information on the way the NDR linked grant and discretionary fund will be allocated.

The third element of the funding is a reopening of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

On top of NDR based funding, this will see funds of up to £25,000 made available for severely impacted hospitality and leisure businesses – and their supply chains.

As with previous ERF rounds, this will support businesses who have seen a reduction in their turnover of more than 60%.

Details of the application and registration process will be published on the Authority’s Business Advice and Support pages: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

The funding package is designed to support businesses impacted by the spread of Omicron through the period 13 December 2021 to 14 February 2022.

Please note that as a result of the new emergency support packages, the Welsh Government is withdrawing its £35m Business Support Fund, announced in November, in order to process emergency payments as soon as possible.

Any expressions of interest received will be notified of this directly.

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Business

£120m financial support for businesses in Wales impacted by Omicron

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BUSINESSES in Wales impacted by the rapid spread of the Omicron virus will be eligible for emergency financial support under a new Welsh Government support package.

The Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, has announced the details of the £120m funding which will be available for retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business and their supply chains affected by the move to alert level two, as announced by the First Minister on Wednesday 22 December.

Under the latest package, retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business who pay Non Domestic Rates will be entitled to a payment of £2,000, £4,000 or £6,000 depending on their rateable value. Businesses will need to re-register their details, through a quick and easy online process, with Pembrokeshire County Council in order to receive their payments.

Registration will open via local authority website from the week commencing January 10, 2022

The Welsh Government has decided to extend this support to non-essential retail so that smaller shops, and Travel Agents will be supported and our high streets can continue to thrive. In England, support is not available to non-essential retail.

In addition, impacted hospitality and leisure businesses and their supply chains will be able to apply for top up funding from a new Economic Resilience Fund (ERF). Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500k – £25,000, with grants dependent on their size and number of employees. The application window for ERF will open in week commencing 17th January 2022 with payments starting to reach businesses within days.

Local Authorities will also administer a Discretionary fund for business and sole traders who do not pay rates. The fund will provide £500 to sole trader and freelancers and £2,000 to employing businesses in impacted sectors.  Further details to follow on business.wales.

An eligibility checker which will help businesses to gauge how much they can expect to receive under the new support package will be available on the Business Wales website by the start of 2022.

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “We fully understand the continued challenges faced by businesses, however we are facing a very serious situation in Wales. A wave of infections caused by the new, fast-moving and very-infectious omicron variant is headed our way, this means taking early action to try and control its spread – and limit the impact on Welsh businesses.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve provided over £2.2bn of support to businesses throughout Wales to help them manage their way through difficult circumstances.

“We will continue to monitor the impact of the spread of Omicron on businesses in Wales, and will consider whether additional emergency funding is needed in the new year.”

Business.Wales will be updated with details, frequently asked question and support guidance.

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Business

Seeking advisors from Ceredigion Businesses – Your chance to get involved with the Mid Wales Growth Deal

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Growing Mid Wales logo

ARE you a strategic business leader in Ceredigion and are you passionate and committed to the interests of Mid Wales? If so, you are the business leader we are looking for!

The Growing Mid Wales Board is setting up an independent body, the Economic Advisory Group, to help advise on the Mid Wales Growth Deal Portfolio of programmes and projects – to ensure it delivers tangible outcomes for our economy.

The new advisory group will provide business sector experience and knowledge to help assess the various proposals as they move through to the next stages of development.

We’re looking for Industry Leaders from all sectors who are able to demonstrate strategic thinking and have significant direct business leadership experience to help advise the direction of the strategic Portfolio.

For a conversation about the opportunity, email Paul Griffiths, Growth Deal Adviser: paul.griffiths2@powys.gov.uk.

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