Supporting Local Places and Local People: Opportunities and Challenges for Welsh Towns (English version)
Author: Rebekah Menzies
The places where we live, work and play have a significant impact on our wellbeing. Across the UK and Ireland, millions of people live in small and medium sized towns. They run and use local businesses, deliver and access local services, and build relationships and networks amongst family, friends and neighbours. Towns are critical to the wellbeing of many.
Over summer 2017, we took our 2016 Turnaround Towns research to two Welsh towns – Merthyr Tydfil and Llandudno Junction – in partnership with WCVA. Over two roundtable events, we tested the resonance of the themes that emerged from the research, and discussed the key challenges and opportunities for Welsh towns with stakeholders from Welsh and local government, and the voluntary and business sectors.
It is an opportune time to be focusing on towns in Wales. Policy shifts, most notably the world-leading Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, could create significant opportunities for Welsh towns and communities; but also present challenges that will require shifts away from traditional ways of working to overcome.
Based on our roundtable discussions, this report sets out recommendations for Welsh and local government, the voluntary and business sectors, and individuals and communities themselves with an interest in the wellbeing of their towns. Along with WCVA, we look forward to engaging with key towns stakeholders in Wales to support the recommendations identified in this report.