NEIL Hamilton, Leader of UKIP Wales and AM for Mid & West Wales, has praised council plans to invest around £4million in local businesses.

Carmarthenshire County Council is launching a variety of new grants aimed at supporting new and existing businesses, and stimulating new economic growth throughout the county.

Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for Rural Affairs, said:

“I am delighted with this news and applaud the council for being forward thinking and showing so much support for local businesses.

“It is good to see significant money being made available to help growth in Carmarthenshire, and also to encourage entrepreneurs.

“The investment should help to create and safeguard jobs and have a very positive impact on the local economy.”

The investment will be a combination of grants and loans with the biggest for the development of commercial property.

£1.5million is being made available in the Carmarthenshire Transformational Commercial Property Development Fund to stimulate the supply of high quality business premises.

£1million is being made available under the Carmarthenshire Rural Enterprise Fund aimed at stimulating growth in the rural economy.

£895,000 is being offered to businesses who want to develop or relocate to Llanelli or Ammanford town centres, under a new round of the Town Centre Loan Scheme.

Businesses are also to benefit with £500,000 being offered for new business start-ups and existing businesses looking to expand, with grants of up to £10,000 being available.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the council and executive board member for regeneration, said: “This is a significant investment that we hope will have long-term benefits for Carmarthenshire, not only for the businesses that could be eligible for support but because of the future jobs they will create.

“Strengthening our local economy is a key aim of the executive board’s Moving Forward in Carmarthenshire plan, so I’m delighted to announce this funding which I hope will energise the county and help us build a more prosperous future.”

The Economic Development team is now inviting businesses and entrepreneurs, both established and new, to find out whether they are eligible for financial support.

Information and eligibility criteria about all the grants on offer is available on the council’s website www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/business.

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