A regional Investment Plan for the South West Wales region

Valleys and villages prosperity grant anchor project

What is the Valleys and Villages Prosperity Grant Anchor Project?

The Valleys & Villages Prosperity Fund (VVPG) Anchor Project is one of five Anchor Projects that form part of NPTCBC’s delivery of our allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The VVPG seeks to address the challenges in our valleys and villages, the shortage of quality housing, commercial properties and public facilities in those areas across Neath Port Talbot and the current gap in provision of grant funding for such projects.

We’ll fund projects that create sustainable growth in our valleys and village communities and enhance them as places to visit, work and live. Projects will involve local communities in the development of proposals – prioritising walking, cycling and public transport; creating well defined, safe and welcoming streets and public spaces; and promoting a sustainable mix of spaces to revitalise the hearts of these communities – whilst at the same time respecting their distinctive qualities and identities.

What is the purpose of the funding?

The rationale behind the VVPG is the ongoing challenge of providing funding to our valleys and village communities here in NPT. There is currently little funding provision for projects in the valleys and village’s areas under the existing Transformation Towns Programme, as eligibility is restricted, in terms of geographical coverage, to the main business districts of six towns only.


What’s the value of the project and will grant funding be available?

£2 million of our total share of UKSPF funding has been allocated to the VVPG fund. This fund will be open for applications from a wide range of organisations: local authorities, town and community councils and business districts, private-sector businesses and landlords, third sector groups and community groups. If an application is received from an organisation outside of these categories, the project will be assessed on its merits.


Where will grant funding be targeted?

Eligibility for VVPG funding will be reasonably flexible in terms of geographical location within NPT and activity type. However, as well as giving priority to projects in the valleys and villages, we will also prioritise project applications for the following activities:

  • Commercial property grant improvements: To enhance building frontages, together with the upgrade of vacant commercial floor space to bring it back into beneficial business use
  • Conversions to residential units: To convert vacant floorspace on the upper floors of commercial properties into new residential accommodation
  • Provision of green infrastructure: To include low- or zero-carbon infrastructure and/or green spaces
  • Public realm enhancement: To provide small-scale public realm enhancements where there is demonstrable social and economic impact
  • Strategic small-scale acquisitions: To complete land assembly for larger strategic proposals, e.g., demolition to deliver improved connectivity or to provide greenspace, public facilities or enhanced public realm
  • Development of town centre market infrastructure: To procure trading stalls, stands and platforms, etc. and install external electrical supplies
  • Town centre meanwhile uses: To establish temporary meanwhile or pop-up businesses in existing vacant premises
  • Shop frontage improvement schemes: To enhance external shop frontages without the need for any internal modification or redevelopment
  • Provision of capital items to further the Digital Towns agenda: To support Wi-Fi analytics and LoRaWAN networks
  • Active travel scheme provision or enhancement: To facilitate active travel routes where this cannot be funded through other means
  • Provision or improvement of public recreational facilities: To provide outdoor play facilities, multi-use games areas and outdoor recreational pursuits.

How will the funding be spent?

We will award VVPG grants up to a maximum of £250,000, at an intervention rate of a maximum of 70% of costs (excluding potential strategic acquisitions). Residential unit grant awards will be capped at a maximum of £20,000 for a two-bedroom unit and £15,000 for a one-bedroom unit.

Project costs that will be eligible for grant funding are:

  • Costs directly related to delivery of the project
  • Professional advice (e.g., architectural, surveying, project management, etc.)
  • VAT – where the applicant is not VAT registered
  • Statutory fees (Building Regulations).