ECONOMY Minister, Vaughan Gething has today announced £2.9 million from the Welsh Government’s Brilliant Basics capital fund will be shared among 18 projects that will help deliver small-scale infrastructure improvements in strategically important tourism locations across Wales.
The fund, which is supporting local authorities and national parks to deliver the improvements which will benefit both communities and visitors, will support projects to help alleviate pressure in areas that are seeing increased visitor numbers.
Brilliant Basics will also support projects to improve accessibility to sites and projects that make their destinations more environmentally sustainable.
Funding will enable the completion of the Porthcawl Cycle Scheme, which will link the cycle route from Rest Bay, to Harbourside, and the Town Centre to Trecco Bay.
Improved access will be seen at selected beaches in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park for wheelchair users that will provide a walkway across the sand, a portable changing structure with hoist and beach wheelchairs. The project will also see boardwalk access at Poppit Sands and the creation of a new viewing platform, with an e-bike hire pilot scheme run in St David’s.
Amenities will be upgraded for both visitors and the local communities at Wepre Country Park and Greenfield Valley, two of Flintshire’s most popular heritage green spaces. Facilities will include improved toilet provision, including a Changing Places toilets and accessible play equipment.
During visit to Swansea, Mumbles and Gower for Wales Tourism Week, the Economy Minister visited Down to Earth who were successful in obtaining Brilliant Basics funding last year. The Minister visited the award-winning Social Enterprise’s Murton site, which has 100% renewable electricity, heating and hot water and with the Brilliant Basics is now Gower’s first 50kW Rapid EV charge point.
Mark McKenna, co-founder/director from Down to Earth said:
“It is vital to improve the electric vehicle infrastructure on Gower and Swansea to encourage green tourism and improve air quality. With the entire electricity for the rapid and fast charge points coming from community-owned, Gower renewable energy, it also demonstrates how we can locally improve energy resilience through 100% renewables!”
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:
“We’re very aware of the important part that local tourism amenities have on someone’s overall experience when on a day trip or on holiday. These facilities often go unnoticed, but they are an important part of people’s experiences when they visit Wales, while also benefit those who live in the area.
The £2.9 million in new funding I’m announcing today will go to projects which will help us make our destinations more accessible and more sustainable, and to grow tourism for the good of Wales.”
Gwynedd Council has secured funding to develop their Aros-fan project which will upgrade assets such as public car parks in 6 destinations across Gwynedd to develop a network of locations that will create legitimate provision for ‘overnight’ parking and sleeping throughout the year for the purpose of motor homes in the county.
Dafydd Williams, Head of Environment for Gwynedd Council welcomed the funding saying:
“Gwynedd Council has undertaken significant research into motor homes in the county and has listened to the views of communities, motor home owners and camp site operators in order to understand illegal or inappropriate overnight stays within the county.
Through the Brilliant Basics funded project we will pilot a network of up to 6 ‘Aros-fan’ sites across Gwynedd which will provide appropriate over-night provision for motor homes and campervans with their own on board facilities.”
Sioned Williams, Head of Economy and Community for Gwynedd Council, added:
“In order to support the local economy, all 6 sites will be located within walking distance to key towns and destinations, will have basic services and will operate a strict 48 hour maximum stay.
Although these facilities will not be operational this summer, we hope that all relevant infrastructure will be in place by Spring 2023. If the pilot proves successful, the Council may consider the development of further Aros-fan facilities in the county in the future.”