The creation of strategic hubs in six areas in the South Wales Valleys will be at the centre of a new plan to deliver economic change in the area, lifelong learning and Welsh language minister Alun Davies has announced.
The hubs, including the new automotive technology business park for Ebbw Vale announced last month, were highlighted by the minister in a statement to the Senedd on 11 July about the work of a ministerial task force set up a year ago.
The task force is publishing a report next week (20 July) that will propose measures to close the employment gap between the sub-region and the rest of Wales by getting an additional 7,000 people into work by 2021, and in the process creating thousands of new, fair, secure and sustainable jobs.
Also proposed is a so-called Valleys Landscape Park which aims to help local communities build on their natural assets, including the potential for community energy generation and tourism.
The strategy will augment infrastructure investments already announced for South Wales, including the Metro, affordable housing, and the proposed M4 relief road.
Davies told assembly members: “I am determined the task force will make a positive difference to Valleys communities and we must work together to turn this vision into action. This is the beginning of a longer-term journey, which is being shaped by people working and living in the Valleys.”