The Welsh government has announced plans to use more than £900m to transform rural Wales, including an increased focus on food innovation and the meat sector.
The plan was unveiled by the Welsh Assembly’s deputy minister for farming and food, Rebecca Evans, and timed to coincide with this week’s Royal Welsh Show.
Launching the new Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, Ms Evans (pictured above) said promised “significant investment” from both the Welsh Government and the European Union to revitalise communities, protect natural resources, tackle climate change and stimulate growth and create jobs across the country.
“In Wales we have the highest proportion of people living in rural areas in the UK, and Welsh Government Rural Communities is perfectly placed to help them thrive,” she said.
The deputy minister also announced the launch of “four key initiatives” in achieve her government’s rural objectives. These are:
- a rural community development fund to improve community cohesion through measures like community transport and connectivity,
- a sustainable production grant, which aims to improve agricultural business resilience,
- a food business investment scheme with a focus on jobs in the food sector, and
- a co-operation programme to help create innovative products and sustainable local collaborative projects on areas like woodlands, food innovation and the red meat sector.