A WELSH minister braved the wind and rain yesterday to formally announce Newport council’s successful bid for cash to create new homes in the heart of the city.

Newport and Torfaen council have secured £14.9 million and £8.2 million respectively of Welsh government vibrant and viable places funding to be spent over three years.

In Newport, the scheme will see properties in the city centre, and from the lower end of Commercial Street down into Cardiff Road, renovated for residential use, with 420 new homes planned.

The scheme, which is hoped will generate 600 jobs and upgrade a further 160 homes, is worth around £60 million overall, with cash also coming from other private and public sources.

In Torfaen, 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 train station.

Carl Sargeant, minister for regeneration, said: “This is a significant Welsh government announcement, working with our partners in local government and the private sector.”