£1.2 billion is being invested in to the Cardiff City Deal to improve connectivity and Infrastructure across the City. Swansea Bay City Deal will receive £1.3 billion to execute projects across the fields of innovation and life science digital infrastructure.
Business News Wales asks:
How Important are the Regional City Deals to the Welsh Economy?
Alex Parr | Managing Director
The Regional City Deals are vital to ensuring the stability, longevity and prosperity of the Welsh economy – a luxury that hasn’t been afforded to Wales in decades. The estimated £6.53bn investment will directly affect residents, businesses, universities and institutions throughout the region.
Technological advancements and modern affordable working space will attract new visitors and workers to Wales, supporting enterprise and entrepreneurial business. While Regional City Deals primarily have an eye toward the future, many of the established Welsh industries such as steel, construction and engineering are set to thrive also.
In Swansea particularly, we can expect to see a radically different cityscape. As the Tidal Lagoon attracts the sharpest minds in green technology, Swansea will be viewed as a global leader in renewable energy. The project will create job roles in Wales that are in-tune with modern day technology and will encourage Wales’ most-talented workers to remain the area – a real boost for city centre-based SMEs like Wolfestone.
Cardiff Capital Region City Deal
Sian Lewis | Project Manager
The intention of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal as a functional unit of Wales’s economy is to become a well organised, cohesive strength in the Region. With joint strategies, shared resources and a common investment programme, CCRCD will combine a sequence of multiple interventions that are not in tension with one another but instead will be carefully integrated to produce a long term programme that will benefit the Welsh economy through:
- Effective working relationships that support economic flows and opportunities with areas outside the city-region including South Wales, Wales, the Severn Valley, The Midlands of England and the Greater South East around London.
- Investment in education to improve employability and productivity.
- Fostering of employment growth across distinct skills and income spectrums.
- Infrastructure investment to integrate the region better and provide more opportunities.
- Development in the spatial economy that will see multiple locations of growth.
- Improvements in the quality of place and the range of institutions investing in improving the city and town centres.
- Fostering of emerging sectors of employment and new/young companies.
- Increasing governance integration in the city-region to combine efforts and leverage investment.
The first project of the Deal was announced – an investment of £37.9 million to support the development of a Compound Semiconductor industry cluster in south-east Wales.
Matt Sutton | Director
Regional city deals are of vital importance to our economy in Wales as they actively stimulate private investment in the city and create jobs.
Cardiff in particular has many exciting city deals lined up over the next few years which, if successful, will boost the economic prosperity of the city and provide an infrastructure for future innovation in Wales. The government has for example, recently announced two multi-million pound deals covering both Cardiff and Swansea.
The Cardiff City deal will look primarily at transport and in particular the implementation of a Metro line connecting the city to the rest of Wales improving the Welsh infrastructure and encouraging more skilled workers to venture into the city to work. The Swansea Bay deal will look to provide £1.3bn into much needed projects across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot creating an estimated 9,465 new jobs for the region.
Peter Thomas | Managing Director
I think the Regional City Deals are fundamental to the success of South Wales and the Principality as a whole. The size of the infrastructure projects will have a considerable effect on many companies an
d employment in the regions. However, I must stress that the needs of the SME is critical as the natural course of events will inevitably mean that the large national companies get the lions share and the SME will lose out in revenue and profitability. The procurement of packages to aid Welsh regional companies will be critical to its success overall.
Jeremy Stephens | Business and Commercial Partner
City deals could be hugely beneficial to the future of the Welsh economy. We chose to move to Swansea partly because of the potential of the city deal and the benefits for the wider region. We’re particularly passionate about the digital hub we’re creating in this region, and the work being done to give youngsters skills and a future here that meets their expectations.
However, the authorities must make sure that the city deals benefit all levels of business.
It can’t just be about big companies moving in and taking space in new buildings, it must involve people who know the region and who will be part of the journey and the cultural change. We need to make it easy and affordable for new and growing businesses to function and thrive. This is not just about regenerating an area, but about creating a new kind of environment.
Graham Leslie Morgan | Managing Director
Collaboration and Partnership working has been at the heart of successful economic activity throughout history. Long overdue the Regional City Deals have the propensity to transform the Welsh Economy and directly or indirectly positively impact on the day to day lives of the people of Wales.
Fundamentally having Public Sector, Private Sector and Academia working in unison will make a significant difference and some of the projects mapped in the respective Deals will open all sorts of opportunities for Welsh based businesses and those seeking career progression. As with all situations Businesses need to be planning now for these opportunities could involve and their ability to get a slice of the action. A specific focus on assessing the skills and training their teams will need is going to be key and in many instances a more creative approach to skills/staff recruitment.
Right now it is difficult to visualise what Wales will look like in 2050 but in my opinion the Regional City Deals will transform the landscape of our great country, once and for all leave the legacy of our past behind us and open a new chapter everyone can feel proud of and benefit from.
Whatever type of Business you are and whichever sector you primarily operate in NOW really is the time to take a step back review the dynamics of your current business and plot what it could look and feel like. Turning this into a plan will maximise your chance of benefiting from the opportunities the Regional City Deals will present.