PLAID Cymru Mid and West MS Helen Mary Jones stressed in the Senedd how the Coronavirus crisis has highlighted the importance of local communities, and how we will use our towns and our town centres in different ways in the future, partly as a result of the crisis.
The Welsh Government is spending £90m on support for town centres.
Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister Helen Mary Jones said: “I asked the Welsh Government about the idea of local working hubs. Perhaps councils or local cooperatives could be responsible for developing these hubs.
“For some people, they’ll want to continue working from home; many of them would like to work more locally. Is there a role for big companies, like Admiral potentially, in investing in local working hubs in some of our towns.
“I called for consideration to be given to what further might be able to be done to enable more people to actually live in our town centres.
“I highlighted the work done recently, in the last couple of years, by Plaid Cymru led Carmarthenshire County Council.
“The council purchased some disused big shops in the town centre, broke them into smaller units and then converted the spaces above those shops into flats that are now used, and, of course, that means that people are in the town centre, they’re using local shops when they can, using local pubs and cafes.
“I congratulated Carmarthenshire County Council for their approach and I hope a future Welsh Government will use this sort of scheme across Wales.”
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn MS added: “One of the steps that we’re taking as a Government that I’ve asked officials to action is to actually get a clearer understanding of where public sector property is within towns, to offer that leverage to take this agenda forward.”