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Written Statement - Schools and social housing capital boost of £43m

Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance and Government Business

Today, I am announcing an immediate boost of £43m for social housing and 21st century schools projects across Wales during this current financial year.

Investing in infrastructure is a key component of our approach to supporting sustained economic growth and central to our response to providing an economic stimulus in recent years. This investment in line with our priorities set out in the Wales Infrastructure investment Plan will provide a boost to employment in Wales supporting up to 800 jobs, including 300 in the design and build of new schools in our communities and 500 in providing affordable housing.

A total of £23m will be allocated to 21st Century school projects across all 22 local authorities during 2015-16, supporting the rebuild and refurbishment of over 150 schools and colleges. A further £20m will be allocated to the Social Housing grant helping build approximately 230 affordable homes across the country. These allocations will be included in the Second Supplementary Budget 2015-16 which will be published next week.

During a visit to North Wales yesterday I had the opportunity to see at first hand the benefits from our investment, from the state of the art learning facilities under construction at the Holywell learning campus to the Llys Santes Ann social housing development which is delivering affordable homes for local residents in Wrexham. This is clear evidence that our investment is making a real difference to people and communities across Wales.

I am also publishing today an update of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan project pipeline in line with our ambition of providing a comprehensive picture of infrastructure investment across Wales. The pipeline, which provides details of investments across both public and private sectors, includes Welsh Government planned investment in a diverse range of projects that will deliver benefits across the whole of Wales such as the supply of broadband to homes and businesses, new affordable and social housing and the largest capital investment programme our schools system has ever seen.