Powys County Council hass provisionally been awarded more than £17.7 million of Levelling Up Funding from the UK Government to promote recreational tourism in the county through transport investment.

The funding aims to address regional disparities across the UK by investing in vital local infrastructure projects to increase pride in place and bring people closer to opportunity.

In total 55 projects across the UK have been selected to receive funding in this latest Round Three of the Levelling Up awards, with the project from Powys being one of seven successful bids in Wales.

The £17,714,498 fund will be spent delivering three coherent projects within the county, which together will boost recreational tourism and contribute to local economic growth:

• Active travel - will provide improved access between key towns and the surrounding tourist destinations, making it easier for visitors to explore Powys using active modes and improve accessibility to key locations for residents.

• Rights of Way refurbishment - will enable and improve visitors’ accessibility to Powys’ diverse and valued Rights of Way network.

• Resurfacing - will improve access to tourist hotspots and support the National Cycle Network, facilitating better journey quality for residents and visitors.

Cllr James Gibson-Watt, Leader of Powys County Council said: “We are delighted to receive confirmation that our bid for Levelling Up Funding has been successful.

“This investment will allow us to make the improvements needed to collectively improve accessibility to key services, encourage active travel modes to reduce transport poverty, support recreational activities in the area, provide better journey quality and improve connectivity to tourist hotspots.”

The award was applied for by the previous Independent/Conservative administration of Powys County Council.

MP for Brecon and Radnorshire Fay Jones said: “I’m really pleased that such a significant amount has been provisionally awarded to Powys County Council from the third round of UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

“This award, applied for by the previous Conservative/Independent administration of Powys County Council, is set to be targeted at tourism-related transport infrastructure.

“This funding will make a huge difference in improving existing routes, as well as developing connectivity between key towns and tourist destinations, directly benefiting tourists and residents alike as well as driving local growth and jobs.”

Tourism has long since been identified as a key strength to support economic growth and prosperity in Powys.

A series of localised Levelling Up funded projects will collectively boost recreational tourism and contribute to local economic growth by:

• improving accessibility and journey quality to key services and tourist locations

• widening the labour pool with improved connectivity to provide opportunities for local businesses and employers

• promoting active travel to contribute towards Powys’ Net Zero targets in reducing its carbon emissions

• developing an improved sense of place and enhanced attractiveness, where people are proud to live and visit Powys