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Written - Strategic Approach to Regeneration – North Wales Coastal Strategic Regeneration Area

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Leighton Andrews , Deputy Minister for Regeneration

Since I announced our intention to develop a Strategic Regeneration Area for the North Wales Coast in late 2008 we have been working with stakeholders to define the scope of the SRA and develop a prioritised programme of holistic regeneration activity.

I am announcing investment of £20 million over the first three years of the programme.

The main driver for the growth of the region historically has been seaside tourism. The demand for hotels, boarding houses and B&Bs resulted in the development of larger than average residential properties within each of the main towns. While prosperous for almost a century, the heyday of mass seaside tourism has now long passed and each settlement struggles to mask an air of decay. It is today still suffering from the decline of these industries and as a consequence has a number of areas identified in the Wales Index of Multiple Deprivation 2008 as some of the most deprived in Wales.

With this in mind, and looking to the future and how we will work with stakeholders, our vision for the area is to help build:

'a thriving, attractive and vibrant area in which to live that is welcoming, safe and friendly - a place with unique character that supports balanced, permanent and self-assured communities within a prosperous and sustainable local economy'

The long term aim is to ensure a long term sustainable future through economic development, improving skills levels and training opportunities, stimulating job creation, raising housing standards, tackling economic inactivity, developing better transport links and promoting the highest quality of health care. An integrated programme of significant regeneration activity will be implemented to ensure a long term sustainable future and partnership is across boundaries is essential for success.

The programme is working in partnership with local authorities, the private sector and the community and voluntary sector and will build on the existing community infrastructure, including the Communities First partnerships based in the area, ensuring that best practice in regeneration is shared and the benefits spread across the region.

We will also ensure that local people are truly linked to the opportunities for regeneration and that the investment from the SRA programme adds value to existing and planned projects. I would be happy to make an oral statement if Assembly Members wish me to do so, at the first opportunity in the new session.