Cardiff Capital Region City Deal Leaders Welcome Chancellor’s Backing

THE Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Leaders comprising the Leaders of the 10 local authorities in South East Wales today (Wednesday November 24) welcomed Chancellor George Osborne’s backing for a £1.28 billion City Deal for South-East Wales.

In his announcement, Mr Osborne said: “The Government is working with the Cardiff Capital Region and the Welsh Government to deliver an ambitious City Deal for Cardiff. The Spending Review announces an in principle commitment to contribute to an infrastructure fund for the Cardiff region.”

This announcement means negotiations can now progress between UK Government, Welsh Government, and the 10 local authorities to agree and deliver a detailed programme of projects which will deliver economic growth in the region.

The City Deal submission by the Leaders of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen, and the Vale of Glamorgan, had already been boosted by an agreement from the Welsh Government to contribute £580m towards the programme.

The £580m will support the establishment of a Cardiff Capital Region Fund, aimed at delivering strategically-important projects.

The Leaders believe a City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region represents a unique opportunity to transform the local economy to improve local productivity, create new jobs, and reduce worklessness.

The vision is to reduce the gap of the gross value added economic measure (GVA) between the city region and the UK average, and to improve the balance of opportunity that exists right across the region.

It will also support the development of a more regional approach across the Cardiff Capital Region, and local authorities will be looking at how they can collectively deliver some services and functions – such as business support and strategic planning.

Overall, the deal will be looking to support investment in areas including business and regeneration, innovation, digital and skills, with an investment in infrastructure across South Wales that will improve opportunities for all communities in the region.

Part of the deal will also be based on providing the Cardiff Capital Region with the tools to support city-region investment.

To ensure that projects comprising the City Deal make a difference they will be prioritised according to their impact in terms of GVA and jobs, as well as ensuring that their impact is felt across the CCR.

The methodology to support this work will be the immediate focus, along with determining how all stakeholders will be engaged in the proposition development in the coming months.

Councillor Phil Bale, Leader of City of Cardiff Council, and involved in the bid, said: “The partners welcome the decision by the Chancellor today. This represents a major step forward in bringing together a City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region.

“A £1.28bn City Deal will mean that we can make investments that will have a material impact on the city-region economy – we can make this happen by working together as 10 authorities with the Welsh and UK Governments.

“We are at an early stage of the process, but the journey has certainly begun. We will be sitting down with our stakeholders, including the private sector and the education sector, to discuss an exciting range of projects around the programme priorities, which will have an extremely positive impact on the region.”

For more information contact Alastair Milburn, Effective Communication, 07813 857328 or amilburn@effcom.co.uk