A DEDICATED rural Wales plan aimed at boosting skills, concentrating on new technology and finding ways to benefit Welsh farmers and small businesses could have a massive impact on Gwynedd’s economy, it has been claimed.
Mid and west Wales regional AM Eluned Morgan, who had called for a rural Wales specific plan, unveiled the Rural Wales: Time to Meet the Challenge 2025 report insisting it was a blueprint that could transform the economy of rural parts of Wales.
The plan identifies a range of measures, including improvements to superfast broadband, using procurement to boost Welsh farming, improving the skills of people in rural Wales, ensuring adequate housing is available and improvements to the road infrastructure, which Labour AM Ms Morgan said would help boost the economy of rural Wales.
It is the product of the specially created Rural Economic Forum, which is chaired by Ms Morgan and includes Aberystwyth-based Sue Balsom, the director of Cambrian Mountains Trust and Aberystwyth University’s vice chancellor Professor Elizabeth Treasure.
Ms Morgan said: “This is a ‘Made in rural Wales’ plan created out of the frustrations and aspirations of our rural communities.
“At its heart is an emphasis on a more co-ordinated approach to economic development in the region.
“Brexit and continued UK Government austerity are both catalysts for why now is the right time to think differently about rural Wales.
“We propose it is the private sector, backed by the ambition of local councils and Welsh Government, which drives prosperity as we seek to address the spectrum of challenges affecting Ceredigion and rural Wales.”
Early priority projects have been identified as potential pilot schemes including increased eco-housing, expanding food production and greater use of technology to encourage new business opportunities.
Ms Morgan said: “There are some great ideas in the plan to help us hit the ground running.”