The Cardiff Capital Region’s Investment Prospectus, about to be submitted to the UK and Wales Governments, spells out in clear and comprehensive detail a radical and necessary programme of investment and transformation, focused on equipping South East Wales’ economy and society with the resources, tools and structure for the decades of challenge and opportunity ahead. This seminal investment will address issues that include R&D capacity, the gap in infrastructure spending, the opportunity to harness sectoral strengths – and the potential to fully maximise ‘building back better’, creating sustainable inclusive growth across CCR’s trading, foundational and sunrise economies.
Anthony Hunt, Chair, Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet, stressed the economic return on investment as well as the critical social importance of Levelling-up.
“This Investment Prospectus- Prosperity for our Place – makes the case for CCR to be ‘levelled-up’ with other regions in the UK in respect of key issues such as R&D and infrastructure investment – but it doesn’t stop there. There is a parallel job of work to do to level-up within CCR given the widening inequality gap exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Our estimates indicate this investment across CCR will create 33,500 jobs, £3.75bn private leverage and increase growth-productivity to create significant uplift in GVA across the region – building on our experience in delivering new forms of regional public investment endorsed by three layers of government.”
The prospectus builds upon the catalytic work undertaken to date in the deployment of the £1.3bn City Deal fund, utilising the robust framework for growth already put in place. The initial requirement of £1.05bn is made up of a £630m R&D Funding Settlement for the region, a £320m Levelling-Up Fund Investment and a £100m investment via the National Skills Fund. Beyond that, a £3.2bn longer-term requirement includes a £2bn contribution from the Department of Transport, a £1.2bn contribution from the Regional Industrial Strategy and ISCF – and a commitment to joint working and discussions on wider initiatives across UK Government, with specific opportunities to create a data campus, hydrogen hub and the harnessing of the Severn tidal range.
Frank Holmes, Chair of the Regional Economic Growth Partnership welcomes the ambition to secure continuity investment that will bring to life key industry clusters and create economically significant hubs, ensuring companies can fulfil their potential for innovation and producing multiplier effects into local and regional supply chains.
“Making public investment work better for all parts of the UK is a huge task and in the CCR we want to help make it easier by setting out what it means to us. The clamour for promised ‘extra investment’ is understandable amidst the continuing devastation of the Covid pandemic, but our approach has to be more nuanced and long-term than just seeking more investment today.
“Our clear view is that whilst the government must set the policy direction, the private sector also has a large part to play in levelling-up and we will be a powerful voice to encourage businesses and investors to locate to the region. We believe that well-directed policy measures, reducing silos and barriers to investment, strong industrial leadership and placing bigger bets, presents an opportunity to introduce greater continuity and ambition into the heart of our region’s future. Our time is now.”
Kellie Beirne, Director CCR City Deal, noted the ‘unique moment in time’ that Levelling-up presents.
“Levelling-up has to be more than just a levelling-up fund and so this prospectus is about taking the opportunity to level up the playing field for a region that’s home to 1.3 million and generates 50% of the Welsh economic output. This diverse geographic area has historically been challenged by fundamental inequalities and a GVA which is only 75% to that of elsewhere in the UK. Our programme of change seeks to redress this and, as importantly, put in place the infrastructure and culture to build communities, businesses, workplaces, supply chains and a resilient economy that’s able to prosper post-pandemic in the face of the multiple challenges posed by Brexit, climate change, mental health, an ageing population, mobility and the need to re-skill for the fourth industrial age.”
You can download the document here.