City Region Leaders Host Successful Event that Engaged with Businesses

MORE than 100 business leaders and academics from across South East Wales attended a day-long event to discuss how they can support the development of the CCR.

Held at the Cardiff City Stadium on Tuesday 21 June, the “Making City Regions Work for Business” event followed the recent signing of the £1.2 billion City Deal, and the aim was to start the process of formal engagement with business on both the CCR and the City Deal.

The day was chaired by chief executive of Wales and West Utilities Graham Edwards, and featured a series of speeches and presentations from speakers such as Cllr Andrew Morgan, Leader Rhondda Cynon Taff and Chair of the City Deal Joint Cabinet of the 10 local authorities in the CCR, and Ann Beynon, Chair of the Cardiff Capital Region Transition Board.

Key issues that were discussed included transport infrastructure, innovation in the CCR and strategic sites and housing, while other speakers from city-regions including Stuttgart and Great Manchester also presented to allow businesses to understand best practices and experiences from other relevant programmes.

Cllr Morgan said he was pleased with the level of interest shown by business and academics. “Clearly, the City Deal is an extremely exciting programme but it is also extremely complex. It is therefore critical that we engage with these key stakeholders throughout what will be a fairly lengthy process, and most importantly, getting their input and expertise as we shape the projects which we expect to help transform the economic performance of the region."

Ann Beynon, Chair for Cardiff Capital Region Transition Board, said: “The event was a great opportunity to share thinking on the development of City Regions and to listen to the key issues from business. I was really encouraged that so many businesses took the time to engage which demonstrates the importance business places on the development on the Region. 

“The event was of course just the start of an engagement process, and it is important now to work with business on the development of the Regional organisation that will provide a single business voice through which the development of the Region can be influenced.”