Progress towards securing a North Wales growth deal will take a major step forward today - November 27th 2017 - with Guto Bebb MP, UK Government Minister for Wales, meeting Council Leaders, MPs, AMs and Business Leaders in the region after having formally received the North Wales Growth Bid from the six North Wales Councils.
The North Wales Growth Bid proposes investment of £1.3bn in 12 projects supported by Growth Bid funds of £383.4m. The Bid will be funded jointly by the UK and Welsh Governments.
The Local Authorities believe that a North Wales Growth Deal will transform the North Wales economy, making it smart, resilient and connected. The Growth Bid will sit alongside independent but related programmes to improve road, rail and digital connectivity funded from UK and Welsh Government Capital Programmes.
The Growth Bid will create over 5,000 jobs directly, increase the rate of business start-ups and SME Growth, support innovation in energy and advanced manufacturing, reduce worklessness and taken together with other programmes and the Wylfa Newydd development, increase GDP from £12.8bn in 2015 to £20bn in 2035.
The Bid will support the Welsh Government’s North Wales Metro concept by promoting integrated transport around 4 hubs and seeks to develop the capacity for independent, regional action to improve economic growth and skills by suggesting greater regional influence over Welsh Government and UK Government services supporting business growth and training.
It proposes action to develop employment and housing land identified in local plans but not developed for many years due to difficult market conditions and other constraints on development.
The “Working Together” event is taking place on the same day as the publication of the UK Government’s industrial strategy, which sets out a long-term vision for how the UK can build on its economic strengths and address some of the big challenges facing the UK. Council Leaders believe the North Wales Growth Bid is built around the 10 pillars of the Industrial Strategy.
What they've said...
Speaking ahead of the event, Guto Bebb MP, UK Government Minister for Wales said:
“A growth deal for north Wales presents a tremendous opportunity for local authorities and businesses to work together with the UK and Welsh Governments to unlock the potential of the region. This unique partnership will help strengthen the local economy and has the potential to create jobs and growth across the whole of North Wales. Making this ambition a reality will put us in the strongest possible position to benefit from cross-border opportunities and reap the benefits of the Northern Powerhouse.”
Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport in the Welsh Government said:
“Working in partnership is critical for improving transport connectivity, helping local firms tap into supply chain opportunities, and encouraging work related skills in the region. It is good that a North Wales Growth Bid continues to be on the UK Government’s agenda and I want to maintain the positive dialogue we have built up.
Cllr. Aaron Shotton, Chair of the North Wales Leaders Group for Economic Growth and Leader of Flintshire County Council, following submission of the bid said,
“The North Wales County Councils are proud to have submitted a growth bid for North Wales. The region is unified in recognising the need to transform the way the region’s economy is structured, so that we can increase prosperity and ensure that future employment opportunities are accessible to all across North Wales. The Growth Bid is an essential tool to make our economy, smarter, more resilient and better connected. The six Council Leaders look forward to working with the UK and Welsh Governments, as we strive to negotiate a deal that will deliver upon our vision for a more inclusive and prosperous North Wales economy.
Cllr. Dyfrig Siencyn Vice Chair of the North Wales Leaders Group for Economic Growth and Leader of Gwynedd Council said:
“We have submitted an exciting bid that brings benefits to all parts of North Wales and builds on our world class strengths in advanced manufacturing, energy and tourism. We have worked closely with business, universities and FE Colleges to develop our proposals. We are a strong team, ready for tough negotiations with the two Governments. We look forward to getting on with the job of making North Wales a better place to live and work.”