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United Kingdom

Operational Programme 'West Wales and the Valleys'

West Wales and the Valleys Programme under Convergence objective, co-funded by ERDF

The European Commission has approved on 10 March 2011 the revised Convergence Operational Programme in West Wales and the Valleys in the United Kingdom for the period 2007-2013. The total budget of the programme is around EUR 1.9 billion and the Community assistance through the ERDF amounts to EUR 1.25 billion.

1. The purpose and aim of the EU investment


Whilst the economy of West Wales and the Valleys has been improving in recent years, there is still much to be done to reduce economic disparities with the rest of Wales and the UK and to ensure convergence with other parts of the EU. Two main factors explain the economic under-performance of West Wales and the Valleys – the lower value-added per worker and the lower employment rate.  The programme aims to address this in order to "to make West Wales a vibrant, entrepreneurial region at the cutting edge of sustainable development".


The principal objectives of the Programme include:

  • promoting a high value-added economy, by improving knowledge and innovation for growth;
  • encouraging business start-up and growth and adequate access to finance;
  • equipping the region with a modern infrastructure, necessary for a modern competitive economy;
  • promoting business opportunities in relation to future environmental challenges and opportunities; and
  • supporting integrated approaches to long term regeneration and the development of vibrant local economies.

2. Key expected achievements


The programme will create 33.200 jobs and assist 14.150 businesses, levering in €553.410.000 of private sector investment. It will support 514 collaborative projects between an enterprise and a research institution and the development of 5.028 new or improved products, processes and services. It will reduce greenhouse gases by 100ktC and generate 400 GWH of renewable energy.

3. Priority axes

The Operational Programme is structured according to the following priorities:

Priority 1: Building the knowledge based economy [approximately 17.1% of total funding]

The priority aims to promote a high value-added economy by improving knowledge and innovation; fostering research and development, innovation and technology and its commercial exploitation; and increasing access to and ICT connectivity.

Priority 2: Improving business competitiveness [approximately 9.9% of total funding]

This priority looks to increase the size of the business stock in West Wales and the Valleys and of individual enterprises by attending to market failures in relation to business advice, information and finance. It contains the themes of entrepreneurship and business finance.

Priority 3: Developing the strategic infrastructure for a modern economy [approximately 17.4% of total funding]

The objective of the priority is to equip the region with the physical infrastructure necessary for the development of a modern and competitive economy and promote commercial clustering. It will support sustainable transport and strategic infrastructure.

Priority 4: Attractive sustainable business environment in which to invest and work [approximately 12.4% of total funding]

This priority promotes sustainable business growth and new business opportunities in relation to future environmental challenges and opportunities. It covers the themes of energy, environmental opportunities and risks and an environment for sustainable growth.

Priority 5: Building sustainable communities [approximately 42.2% of total funding]

The priority will support integrated approaches to long-term regeneration, which will benefit the region's most deprived communities while supporting the development of vibrant local economies. It covers physical regeneration and community economic development.

Priority 6: Technical Assistance [approximately 1.2% of total funding]

Technical Assistance will be available to ensure the efficient and effective management of the Programme.

4. Managing Authority

Welsh European Funding Office
UK-CF48 1UZ Merthyr Tydfil
Director of Planning and Strategy Division / Welsh Assembly Government
Damien , O'BRIEN
Tel.: 0044 8450 103 355
Fax.: 0044 1685 729 622
Web: Welsh Assembly Government

Financial and Technical information

Title : Operational Programme 'West Wales and the Valleys'

Intervention Type : Operational Programme

CCI no : 2007UK161PO002

Number of decision : C(2011)1286

Final approval date : 2011-03-10

Breakdown of finances by priority axis
Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Building the knowledge based economy 313 878 019 164 275 165 478 153 184
Improving Business Competitiveness 144 778 000 61 196 140 205 974 140
Developing strategic Infrastructure for a modern economy 389 823 802 297 383 721 687 207 523
Creating an attractive business environment 229 898 349 123 962 861 353 861 210
Building Sustainable Communities 159 000 019 73 929 440 232 929 459
Technical assistance 13 000 000 7 059 046 20 059 046
Total 1 250 378 189 727 806 373 1 978 184 562
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