Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) has unveiled its Regional Economic & Industrial Plan (REIP) for 2023-2028, building on the inaugural plan that has already seen the £1.23BN CCR City Deal deliver substantial investment and achieve significant intervention milestones – including successfully completing the UK Government first Gateway Review – in its evolution towards fulfilling a wider economic and social remit for South East Wales.
The new REIP roadmaps CCR’s plans to nurture a bigger, fairer and greener economy – generating good growth and creating conditions for shared prosperity, realising the best possible opportunities and outcomes for every community across the ten local authorities that make up the Region.
The REIP represents a guiding light on how CCR aims to create a Region that is:
More Competitive – Enabling businesses within our priority sectors and public services to achieve higher levels of productivity through innovation-led growth.
More Connected – Investing in cutting-edge digital and physical infrastructure and growing our green economy to support the decarbonisation of SE Wales by 2050.
More Resilient – Maximising ‘good growth’ by taking direct steps to reduce inequality, ensuring prosperity is shared and spread across our region.
Frank Holmes, Chair of the Cardiff Capital Regional Economic Growth Partnership, outlined how the Plan’s ‘bottom-up’ micro-economic approach is focused on delivering far-reaching results:
“CCR represents roughly half the population, businesses and economy of Wales – so it’s heartening that our work to date has seen projects approved to the value of £320M, of which 50% is in targeted projects and managed funds which will yield returns for future reinvestment. In many ways, this latest iteration of the REIP frames a hugely positive response to the unique challenges and opportunities that have emerged since it was first published in 2019. It has a currency for every community and business sector in South East Wales – and as CCR evolves from City Deal to City Region, with Corporate Joint Committee entities having much wider policy making powers, the next five years bring the potential to create even greater and more impactful sustainable growth.”
Cllr Anthony Hunt, Chair of the Cardiff Capital Regional Cabinet, noted how the REIP is the key driver in making CCR a place where everyone can connect to work and life opportunities:
“At heart, the REIP is about making our region more competitive, more connected and more resilient. Our job over the next five years is to empower businesses within our priority sectors and help public services to be the best they can be – through innovation-led initiatives and cutting-edge infrastructure projects. In everything we do, we must have the confidence to maximise the good, sustainable growth that brings shared prosperity right across the region. This updated plan is our guiding light – transparently detailing the steps that we need to fully embrace as a region in order to achieve those outcomes.”
Kellie Beirne, Director, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, explained how the plan will enable the Region to navigate extraordinary times by focusing on long-term ambition:
“The new REIP sets out our approach to becoming a proud, connected and resilient Region, reinforcing our long-term commitment and focus on ‘levelling up’ – and, critically, raising our ambitions to a new level. The Plan is published in the context of inflation at a 40-year-high, record energy prices, clear threats to our food and cyber security, and a number of geo-political tensions in Europe and further afield – a backdrop that makes achieving the REIP goals and objectives even more important and relevant to the lives of everyone in our Region.”