TRADERS and residents in Tintern welcomed the news that Monmouthshire will get £80,000 in funding to repair damage caused by the recent storms.
The Welsh Government’s economy minister, Edwina Hart, said the cash will be used to support tourism-related infrastructure projects within local authorities and to promote the message that Wales is ‘open for business.’
Monmouthshire Council said footpaths and footbridges have suffered particularly bad damage in the storms, with overall repairs expected to cost around £40,000.
A council spokesman said: “Tourism is vital to our local economy and we have already been putting together a list of what work needs to be done. This grant will be a big help in making the necessary repairs, although we’ll have to carefully consider our priorities.”
Tintern was hit by flooding last month when the village experienced the worst high tide in more than a decade and suffered more minor flooding during high tides at the weekend and in the early part of this week.
Mrs Hart said: “Tourism is already worth an estimated £5 billion a year to Wales and we are determined to do everything we can to ensure the sector continues to grow.
“We are already investing significantly in improving flood defences across Wales but we know there is more immediate work that needs urgent attention.”
Adam Parker, who works at Stella Books in Monmouth Road, said that while the funding is not a huge amount when spread across the county, any amount is welcome.
He said: “While we don’t yet know how it will be spent it would be good if Tintern had a share to repair any damaged footpaths as we are a walking destination.
“The village escaped damage in the recent high tides but at some point the riverbank, which is slowly washing away, will need to be repaired as a flood defence, if not to stop the entire road falling into the river.
“We put up with the high tides year in year out and the village has not suffered too much, if anything the levels were slightly lower at the weekend than in January.”
Geoff Dawes, owner of The Anchor pub, Tintern, also welcomed the decision.
He said: “Any additional funding from Monmouthshire Council to help repair damage or alleviate flooding will be welcomed.”