Domestic Visits: Neath

Wales Office written question – answered at on 24 July 2023.

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Photo of Gerald Jones Gerald Jones Shadow Minister (Wales), Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, when a Minister in his Department last made an official visit to Neath constituency.

Photo of David Davies David Davies The Secretary of State for Wales

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and I both live in Wales and serve Welsh constituencies. We have a consistent presence in Wales as we conduct many visits, events and meetings in Wales on a regular basis.

Details of Ministerial visits and meetings are published on the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales’ website and in Quarterly Ministerial Transparency Returns. In addition, visits and meetings conducted in support of the Wales Office priorities are published in the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales Annual Report and Accounts.

The UK Government has provided extensive support to Neath. A typical household in Wales has received almost £2000 in UK Government support to help with the cost of living. This includes over 205,000 payments delivered in Neath through the Energy Bills Support Scheme. During the Covid-19 pandemic around 10,000 jobs were supported through the furlough scheme, around £21 million was claimed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and around £34 million was given to businesses through government-backed business loans

The UK Government has also supported innovation within Neath with around £66,000 awarded by Innovate UK since April 2019. The UK Government has also provided £28 million towards the development of the Global Centre of Rail Excellence, a rail innovation facility which will benefit Neath. £15 million in UK Government funding has also been awarded to a group of universities to establish a research and innovation centre at GCRE.

In addition, Neath Port Talbot, the local authority for the Neath constituency, is receiving over £34 million from the UK Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Neath is also receiving over £17 million from the Levelling Up Fund to restore the historic estate in the Vale of Neath. The Neath constituency also benefits from the £235 million Swansea Bay City Deal, including £47.7 million invested in the Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth (SILCG) programme.

This Government is investing in Wales like never before; over £790 million in four City and Regional Growth Deals covering the whole of Wales, £585 million for local authorities to invest through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, including over £100 million for the Multiply adult numeracy programme, £330 million in capital investment through the Levelling Up Fund and £3.2 million to preserve community assets through the Community Ownership Fund. Wales will benefit from two Freeports backed by £52 million, the British Business Bank’s new £130m Regional Investment Fund, and from Project Gigabit which will enable hard to reach communities to access lightning-fast gigabit capable broadband.

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