Cardiff Capital Region Appoints New Programme Director

THE Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Regional Cabinet has announced the appointment of Kellie Beirne, Deputy Chief Executive at Monmouthshire Council, as the new City Deal programme director.

Ms Beirne, who was appointed following an open application process, has a vast amount of experience delivering key strategies across Wales, and has demonstrated exceptional experience of working with businesses in every area of the Cardiff Capital Region.

She is Chair of the Innovation Advisory Council for Wales – a role which provides insight and foresight around future trends, developments and world leading practice. Ms Beirne also led the first major project under the banner of the City Deal bringing forward a state-of-the-art compound semi-conductor foundry and cluster for the region, potentially leveraging more than £450m of private sector investment.

As the new City Deal Programme Director, Ms Beirne will be responsible for making a senior-level contribution towards developing and ensuring the delivery of the programme, and helping to identify opportunities to promote the needs and potential of the Cardiff Capital Region in order to influence policy and further external funding.

She will work closely with the Regional Cabinet comprising the leaders of the 10 local authority partners, as well those local authorities’ chief executives. Ms Beirne is expected to take up the role in July or August.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Chair of the CCR Regional Cabinet and Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Kellie Beirne as the new CCR City Deal programme director. She will play a crucial role in driving the CCR City Deal programme forward and I am confident she will provide comprehensive advice to the Regional Cabinet.

“Kellie met all our requirements for this demanding role. She understands the context of the CCR City Deal, and has played a key role in pushing forward the innovation and digital strategies of the CCR City Deal. I am confident she will thrive as the new programme director for the CCR City Deal.”

Peter Fox, Leader of Monmouthshire County Council and Vice Chair of the CCR Regional Cabinet, said “I am delighted that Kellie has been successful. She is an extraordinary talent who combines entrepreneurial zeal with a real sense of social justice and moral purpose. She totally understands that the City Deal has to be for all, not the few, and I know that Kellie will build on the successes the City Deal has achieved to date. It’s a good day for the whole Capital Region.”

Kellie Beirne said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the new programme director and feel honoured to have the chance to lead the development of the CCR City Deal.

“I am looking forward to taking the CCR City Deal forward and using it as an opportunity to grow an international presence and profile, beyond Wales. We are excited about laying the groundwork and foundations for investment in current and future generations. It is important that we recognise the potential for prosperity for all and build on the strengths, assets and opportunities in all 10 local authorities while focussing on not just growing, but re-balancing our economy to be sustainable, resilient and able to embrace and shape what the future will bring.”

The CCR City Deal is set to unlock significant economic growth across the CCR, which includes the ten local authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Torfaen and Vale of Glamorgan.

The aims of the CCR City Deal are to create jobs and boost economic prosperity by improving productivity, tackle worklessness, build on foundations of innovation, invest in physical and digital infrastructure, provide support for business, and ensure that any economic benefits generated as a result are felt across the region.

The CCR Regional Cabinet has already agreed to invest £37.9 million to support the development of a compound semiconductor industry cluster in south-east Wales.

The funding is being generated from the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal’s Wider Investment Fund – and is the first such investment since the £1.2 billion programme was formally signed by the leaders of the ten local authorities in the region on March 1 last year. 

The project is expected to leverage up to £375 million of private sector investment over the next five years, and the creation of up to 2,000 high value, high-tech jobs, with the potential for hundreds more in the wider supply chain and cluster development.

Earlier this year, the Cabinet agreed to commit £40 million to support in principle the £180 million Metro Central Development, a project that will deliver a new Central Transport Interchange at the heart of Cardiff’s city centre Core Employment Zone.