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Entries in Wales (6)


£6m Investment for Bridgend Town Centre

£6m Bridgend town centre plans receive Welsh Government approval

A multi-million-pound project that aims to support local business and revitalise Bridgend town centre by increasing the number of people living in the heart of the town and providing shoppers with improved facilities has been formally approved by the Welsh Government.

The announcement means that the town centre is set to benefit from £6m of ‘Vibrant and Viable Places’ regeneration funding.

The council has developed a number of projects that will use the funding to help make the town centre more modern, vibrant and appealing to shoppers and visitors.

Vacant premises above shops will be turned into housing, while the ageing Rhiw car park will be replaced with a new multi-storey in addition to riverside housing and a small-scale development for potential commercial or community use.

Other car parks in the town centre are also set to be improved. New parking will be created to serve offices and businesses, and Bridgend Market will benefit from improvements including a new roof. If enough resources are available, plans are also in place for replacing the former McDonald’s building on Nolton Street with new retail space on the ground floor and housing above.

Deputy Leader David Sage said: “This is excellent news and the £6m funding will be put to good use in an effort to boost local trade by creating a thriving community within the town centre itself.

“The Vibrant and Viable Places funding represents a big step forward in the evolution of Bridgend town centre and will help us to create new opportunities for fresh investment and business as well as providing the town with modern parking facilities.£6m-bridgend-town-centre-plans-receive-welsh-government-approval.aspx


Is Wales really falling behind England?

“A failing airport nationalised, school league tables abandoned to trade union barons who don’t want a light shone on their own under-performance, and a health service where party apparatchiks put dogma before patient safety.

This is what 15 years of Labour misrule has brought to Wales.

A land of free bus passes and prescriptions where a determination to put “clear red water” between Wales and Westminster has seen a wrong-headed rejection of ideas that might have worked here, simply because they have also been deployed over the border.

At least, that’s how London’s Tory-supporting newspapers like the Daily Mail, The Sun and the The Times, are now selling Wales to the world, with just a year or so to go to a general election.

But how much is crude politicking and how much legitimate scrutiny of important failings?” (WalesOnline 31 March 2014 - See the full comparison here )

Pisa ranks Wales’ education the worst in the UK

Wales has fallen behind the rest of the UK (BBC) significantly in reading, maths and science for the third time, an international study has shown. (PISA OECD 2012)

The tests in science, maths, and reading were taken by 500,000 15-year-olds in 68 countries.

In Wales, there were lower results on average in the three subjects than in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Scotland leads the way in the UK in maths and reading, while England is ahead in science.

  • In maths, Wales fell three places to 43rd of the 65 countries
  • In reading, the nation is now ranked at 41 down from 38
  • The biggest fall came in science where Wales dropped six places to joint 36th

Welsh Household Income Falls, Food Bank Use Increases

The BBC reports

Household incomes in Wales fell by an average of £80 per month in one year, official figures have shown.

Office of National Statistics figures from 2009/10 to 2010/11 say average UK weekly income fell from £373 to £359, with average household income in Wales 12% lower than the country as a whole.

At the same time over the past year, the number given food parcels in Wales has reached a record 23,000.

A report published by The Trussell Trust shows UK food bank use increasing. 

Trussell Trust figures released this week show that foodbanks fed 128,697 people nationwide in the last financial year, compared to 61,468 in 2010-11: an increase of 109%. Many of those helped were families struggling as a result of rising food and fuel prices combined with static incomes, high unemployment and changes to benefits. 45,898 children have been fed in the last 12 months

Fuel Poverty:

In addition the ONS “Measuring National Well-being - Personal Finance, 2012“ report states:

In the UK in 2010, 4.8 million households (approximately 19 per cent of all UK households) were in fuel poverty, a fall of 0.7 million since 2009 


Interactive map of Food Banks in the UK:

View The Trussell Trust foodbank Network in a larger map


Ecodesign Centre (EDC) Recruiting

The Ecodesign Centre are recruiting a policy-focused research assistant to work on ecodesign projects - - view job description 

Research Assistant

Post No: CT7541
Closing Date: 21st August 2012
Salary: £22,475 - £26,779 pa
Hours: 37 hours per week
Tenure: Fixed Term until 30th August 2013
Department: Ecodesign Centre (EDC), Cardiff Business Technology Centre