PROJECTS across Gwent are set to benefit from a new UK Government fund aimed at supporting businesses and increasing skills.

Schemes which are to benefit from the community renewal fund, a pilot for the UK Government’s shared prosperity fund which will replace previous EU cash, have been announced.

More than 160 projects across Wales will receive a share of more than £46 million.

These include two regional schemes led by Torfaen council which will receive around £2.5 million.

The Connect, Engage, Listen and Transform research project, which will get around £1.9 million, is trialling new techniques and interventions to support the long-term unemployed into work across 10 local authorities in South Wales.

The Food 4 Growth programme, which will receive £618,403, will focus on connecting rural agricultural industries with town centres in Torfaen, Caerphilly and Monmouthshire.

Other projects to receive funding in Torfaen include Stepping Stones, which will receive £338,038, an entrepreneurship programme aimed at supporting the over 50s who are unemployed, to start their own businesses.

The Pontypool and Blaenavon small business support project has been awarded £154,494, while The Life You Want, which supports domestic abuse victims, will receive £204,300.

Young Enterprise Torfaen, a project supporting young people into self-employment, will receive £232,689.

A Complete Digital Package for Torfaen Businesses has been awarded £385,560.

Monmouthshire will see investment in projects around climate change, economic growth, leisure and tourism totalling more than £2 million.

Projects include £467,620 for Transforming Mon Life’s major assets and £122,400 for a scheme aiming to transform Llanarth village and surrounding forestry and farms into a carbon zero zone.

In Newport, £745,617 has been awarded for the development of the WIDI Research and Development Centre.

Maindee Unlimited, a charity creating new outdoor spaces for the community, will receive £176,480.

Volunteering Matters, Pobl, Business In Focus and Ffilm Cymru Wales are among other organisations to have received funding for projects in the city.

Projects to receive funding in Blaenau Gwent include the Valleys Innovation Showcase for Technological Advancement which will get just over £1-million.

Four schemes have been successful in Caerphilly county borough, including an Engaging Enterprise project which will receive £811,074.