Plaid Cymru secures rate relief for small hydro projects

Relief for schemes such as Corwen energy scheme

Plaid Cymru has secured a business rate relief for small hydro projects such as Corwen that had been faced with an increase of up to 900% in their rates.

This follows a long campaign for Plaid Cymru to secure fairness for the hydro projects that had been disproportionately affected by non-domestic rates revaluation.

Plaid Cymru secured a commitment from the government to do this in its budget deal, but the change had not been confirmed until the consultation by the Welsh Government had been completed.

Plaid Cymru North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd said:

“If we’re building a green nation then community hydro projects such as Corwen will be a fundamental part of that. But the Labour government’s short-sightedness threatened to put an end to the efforts of communities to build a better future. The money generated by community hydro schemes would have been re-invested into the local community, and will bring benefits for generations to come.

“I’m glad that Plaid Cymru has managed to force the government to support these vital projects. We are pleased with this change of mind by the Welsh Government but we will be working through the details to ensure it benefits as many as possible.”

He added:

“Community hydro schemes such as Corwen are precious community assets, and they deserve the government’s 100% support. I visited the site as it was about to start producing energy and am delighted to learn this week that it’s on track to produce 130,000 KwH of energy in its first full year.

The planned increase in business rates would have been devastating for schemes in my constituency and would kill off any future projects that the Corwen Energy coop has planned.

“Plaid Cymru believes that renewable energy projects should be community owned and should benefit local communities and I’m very glad that we’ve managed to persuade the Welsh Government to support these projects from the planned increase in their business rates so that we can protect this principle.”

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