West Wales politicians have hit out at the ‘insult’ decision not to award any levelling-up funding to Ceredigion.

The United Kingdom government announced £2.1 billion in funding for communities across the UK, the latest tranche of ‘levelling-up’ funding, with not a penny allocated to west Wales.

The funding scheme had been touted by the Conservatives UK government as a replacement for lost EU-funding which hugely benefitted communities in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Ceredigion MP Ben Lake said: “Ceredigion is among 11 Welsh local authorities that do not receive a penny in yesterday’s ‘Levelling Up’ round.

“The fact that many of the areas that have been left out today are those in most need of ‘levelling-up’, whilst some of the beneficiaries are among the wealthier areas of the UK, casts serious doubt over the appropriateness of the methodology used to allocate the funding.

“Many promises were made during the Brexit debate, but the Conservatives’ claim that Wales would receive ‘not a penny less’ may have been the most brazen.

"That manifesto pledge could not have been further from the truth, with Wales at a loss of some £1.1bn compared with previous EU schemes.

“To make matters worse, between 2009-2020 local authority spending per head fell by 9.4%. The idea that we should now be grateful for the privilege of competing over a small pot of money is frankly insulting.

"The arbitrary and ad-hoc way in which Westminster is allocating this funding is not conducive to the kind of cohesive long-term economic planning needed to break the poverty cycle.

“From the outset, Plaid Cymru has called for funding to be allocated according to need. If the UK Government want to redeem any credibility on ‘levelling-up’, they should revise their criteria so that Wales receives funding according to our relative need.”

Mid and West Wales Senedd Member Eluned Morgan MS said: “The fact that not a single penny has been allocated to support so called ‘levelling-up’ this time round in Ceredigion is an insult.

“Throughout the Brexit debate and after, we were repeatedly told that west Wales would not lose out financially from our exit from the European Union. In reality, Wales has lost more than £1 billion in funding.

“[The] announcement can only mean that either our Tory MPs have given up making the case for the post-Brexit funding shortfall or the Tories have written off holding these seats at the next election. Ceredigion deserves better.”

Nationally, Michael Gove MP has defended the allocation of a £2 billion levelling-up fund, saying it is “simply untrue” that the cash is mainly being handed to the relatively affluent South East.

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart, the former Secretary of State for Wales said: "I'm delighted that £208 million has been awarded to projects across Wales, this will regenerate town centres, improve transport and provide education possibilities, amongst other things.

"I look forward to following the progress of these projects which will create jobs and help to grow the economy."



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