The UK Government has speeded up its funding of three City and Growth Deals that together cover a large part of Wales: Swansea Bay, Mid Wales and North Wales.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirmed the announcement in his Budget speech delivered on Wednesday. The acceleration means each City or Growth Deal region will receive its expected finance over a shorter timescale, saving on repayment costs and allowing quicker progress on investment projects.
For Swansea Bay City Deal, the change means an extra £5.4m per year over the seven years left for the Deal. This will allow faster progress on the Deal’s digital and urban regeneration projects, supporting the creation of 9,000 jobs and providing a £1.1bn boost for the region’s economy.
The North Wales Growth Deal will see an extra £4.4m a year over the remaining nine years, creating 3,800 new jobs and boosting the region’s economy by £2.2bn.
Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn, chair of North Wales Economic Ambition Board and leader of Gwynedd Council, said:
“We welcome the acceleration in funding from the UK Government. This financial boost reinforces the commitment made and will enable us to move forward at an even greater pace.
“While no extra capital has been committed, receiving the £120m over a shorter time span will decrease borrowing costs and strengthen the foundations already laid while giving the Portfolio Management Office room to identify key areas that could be capitalised upon in order to bring forward priority projects.
“We look forward to further discussions with our colleagues in the UK and Welsh Governments in the months ahead.”
The Mid Wales Growth Deal will receive an extra £1.8m per year over 10 years, leading to faster investments once projects are agreed in areas such as transport, agriculture, skills and employment.