£160M funding from UK Government and Welsh Government announced in the Autumn Statement to support intensive economic growth in Southeast Wales.
The UK Government has announced in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement that the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) is to host one of the UK’s refocused Investment Zones in a joint funding package with the Welsh Government. The joint package is worth £160M over a period of between five to ten years and will be delivered by the South East Wales Corporate Joint Committee from 2024 onwards.
In addition to the Cardiff Capital Region, North Wales has also been selected for an Investment Zone in Wrexham and Flintshire.
The intention for the Investment Zones is to catalyse high-potential knowledge-intensive growth clusters across the UK, with each Zone driving the growth of at least one key future sector from among green industries, digital technologies, life sciences, creative industries and advanced manufacturing.
Key considerations by both Governments in terms of awarding Investment Zones included the clear
evidence of economic potential, innovation potential, strong knowledge anchor institutions and recognised sector and cluster specific strengths with the Region. In CCR's case this included the potential for growth in the world-leading compound semiconductor cluster.
Cllr Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council said of the announcement:
“This is very welcome news for the Region and for Cardiff. Our universities host world-class research capabilities, we have a booming tech sector, and significant partnership arrangements are already in place. This means we are prepared, ready and able to make the best use of this opportunity. Cardiff is the economic driving force behind Wales, and Cardiff’s role in these new investment zones will ensure the Region, and Cardiff, benefit from this joint governmental package for years to come.”
Cllr Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council commented on the role played by the pivotal compound semiconductor cluster in the Newport area:
“CCR set up the world’s first compound semiconductor cluster in Newport and this first-mover status has meant that the Region is front-of-mind for both the Welsh and UK Governments for innovation and investment. I am delighted that the Investment Zone is coming to the Southeast Wales area and we look forward to the future prosperity this will produce.”
Concluding, Cllr Anthony Hunt, Leader of Torfaen County Borough Council and Chair of CCR's Regional Cabinet said:
“This is great news for the Region and for the Welsh economy in general. To have two of these new Investment Zones situated in Wales demonstrates how deep and broad our capabilities are. We can take this announcement as a vote of confidence in the ambition and talent across the ten Local Authorities that make up the Cardiff Capital Region. We look forward to working with the UK and Welsh Governments on this.”