The City Deal is the biggest investment for South West Wales in a generation worth more than £1.3bn. The investment package aims to transform the economic landscape of the area with high-spec digital infrastructure and world-class facilities in the fields of health and life science innovation, energy and smart manufacturing.
The Swansea Bay City Region includes the local authority areas of Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Pembrokeshire and Neath Port Talbot, joined by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Hywel Dda University Health Boards, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity St David’s, and private sector partners. The deal will fund projects over 15 years. Eleven major projects are planned across the region in the fields of energy, smart manufacturing, innovation and life science.
The announcement signalled the start of investment and development on an unprecedented scale. £241m of central government funding, split between the UK and Welsh Government, would be added to £360m of other public sector funding and £673m of private sector contributions to make up the total investment package. The investment will deliver up to 9,465 new jobs for the region, with claims this will contribute to an uplift in GVA of £1.8bn. It is based around four strands; internet of economic acceleration, internet of energy, internet of life sciences and wellbeing, and internet of smart manufacturing
First Minister Carwyn Jones says it will transform the economy of South West Wales. He said “With a total value of £1.3bn, it will be Wales’s largest city deal, and will turbo-charge the region’s economic prosperity and create up to 35,000 jobs when spin-offs are taken into account.”
Prime Minister Theresa May attended the signing. She said: “The deal is a great example of what can be achieved when the UK government , the Welsh government and local authorities work together to secure a deal that benefits the city and the whole of Wales.”
Helen Bowden, CEO, Swansea Bay Futures, said “Swansea Bay Futures is over the moon that the deal has now been signed. We have been involved in the fabric of the region for over ten years. Part of our remit is to promote the region and look towards the future potential.
“City Deal provides that huge potential for future regeneration. Although the area is already vibrant with development and growth, the City Deal will take us into new realms of capabilities and enable the region to secure itself as an area of innovation and transformation in the areas of health and social care in particular.
“City Deal will also increase the job prospects over the coming years and make the area much more viable and attractive to inward investment as well as giving opportunity to already existing business. Swansea Bay Futures supports and champions everything that the City Deal will bring.”
ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) forms the health and wellbeing strand of the City Deal. ARCH is a unique partnership between ABM and Hywel Dda University Health Boards and Swansea University aimed at improving the health, wealth and wellbeing of South West Wales. ARCH was formed to tackle some of the major challenges the health service faces on a daily basis.
ABMU and ARCH chair Professor Andrew Davies said: “We are delighted that the City Deal has been supported by Welsh Government and UK Government as this will help transform the health and economic opportunities of our region.
“The funding will also help us accelerate the development of health science campuses at Morriston and Singleton and the Wellness and Life Science Village in Carmarthenshire.
“One of the strengths of ARCH has been its effectiveness as a vehicle for the three partners to develop joint solutions, which meet the challenges facing the health sector.”