TWO Gwent councils have successfully bid for £23 million of regeneration cash which could see new jobs and homes built in the region.

Torfaen and Newport councils were among 11 local authorities that were successful in bidding for the £100 million Vibrant and Viable Places pot from the Welsh Government which will be spent over three years.

Newport is to be granted close to £15 million for schemes that aim to create 600 jobs, build as many as 420 inner-city homes and upgrade 160.

The housing-led bid for the Communities First central area of the city is aimed at tackling vacant properties, community disadvantages and housing shortfalls.

It is hoped that the projects will help 850 people gain work-based learning and skills opportunities.

Newport council leader Councillor Bob Bright said: “This is great news for Newport and another positive step in our work to regenerate our city. With key projects under way, the face of Newport really is changing, and this additional money will further support our efforts.”

Meanwhile Torfaen has won £8.2 million for a £80 million package of regeneration projects which will need further funding from private and public sources, including the EU.

Possible projects include refurbishing properties for residential and commercial use in Pontypool, a proposed ‘Canalside Quarter’ near Cwmbran town centre and a new transport interchange at Pontypool and New Inn station.

However the authority has been awarded less than the £13 million it had bid for.

Bob Wellington, Torfaen council leader, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive this funding which represents a significant regeneration opportunity for us in Torfaen. Our officers will now meet with Welsh government over the next few weeks to discuss the next steps forward”.

Last year, local authorities were invited to submit schemes on behalf of partnerships made up of the public, private and third sectors organisations.