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Transforming the valleys: a manifesto for resillience

December 21st 2020

Every area of Wales faces challenges, but very few have experienced them to the scale and persistence that the valleys have

This paper sets out a vision and steps to forge a new future in the valleys in the next Welsh Parliament term and beyond. It outlines recommendations for policy makers and institutions that have the ability to bring about change. It draws on the Bevan Foundation’s analysis over the last two decades and more our recent work on building economic resilience.

A dual approach is advocated; building on the assets of the area while at the same time addressing the root causes of its biggest challenges. It recommends an eight step, ten-year action plan based on:

  • Growing jobs –  Through a valleys jobs incentive, an apprentice premium, re-location of public sector jobs, co-working spaces and a plan to grow fair work in two key sectors
  • Boosting business – Doubling the number of social enterprises, creating a valleys enterprise area, a valleys manufacturing initiative and ramped up support for micro firms
  • Harnessing procurement – Making use of reserved contracts, strengthening the social pound, creating a public purchasing environment that supports the manufacturing base and its supply chains and a greater role for social business.
  • Maximising connectivity Unlocking the potential of the A465 and the South Wales Metro, ensuring an affordable, comprehensive public transport offer and creating a valleys tunnels active travel network
  • Creating vibrant and resilient places – The development of Anchor Towns, scoping a new town at the heads of the valleys, and a new vision of high streets with meanwhile, flexible and community usage can build on the vibrancy of valleys towns and villages.
  • Making the most of assets – Better rights for communities in a Community Rights Act, a moratorium on the sale of publicly-owned assets, a Green Valleys initiative to protect, grow and enhance natural assets and connecting the vast and diverse heritage of the valleys.
  • Closing the skills gap – Investing in upskilling, supporting lifelong community-based flexible and accredited learning and parity between financial support for students in further and higher education
  • Delivery –  Ringfenced resources, delivery capacity,  lifespan and a  focus on improving the economic profile of the area, creating 40,000 jobs over ten years and £350m investment

Pages: 13 

Format: PDF 

Language: English


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