CCR: Connecting our Region for sustainable success

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Thought Leadership

An interconnected world brings unimaginable opportunities to people, communities, businesses and economies.

It’s why ‘Connectivity’ is one of CCR’s key strategic goals – and why our direction of travel is centred around connecting the power and potential of the industry, enterprise and talent that resides in every city, town and village across South East Wales.

Investing in cutting edge digital and physical infrastructure is just part of that strategic commitment. We’re a catalyst for connectivity on an even deeper and wider level: helping connect our businesses with growth, our economy with future success, our people with their life ambitions, and ultimately, our Region with the world.  

And here’s how …

Connecting our Region like never before

The CCR journey itself – joining up 10 unitary authorities to drive a shared vision – shows just how transformative connectivity can be.

Our coming together has enabled us to be an investor in world-class digital communications, a creator of cutting-edge transport infrastructure, a pathway between people and opportunities – and a bridge to affordable and accessible places to live, work and play.

We’re playing our part in reshaping our Region across the many different strands of Connectivity – through the transformational force of digital technology, the catalyst of physical infrastructure and the immeasurable power of putting people in touch with meaningful opportunities.

Connecting our economy with sustainable success

Digital infrastructure is critical to connectivity. So it’s encouraging to know that CCR’s £7M investment in a world-first Cyber Innovation Hub will create a global centre of cybersecurity excellence – as well as bringing a key competitive advantage to our four other priority sectors centred around the Creative Industries, Compound Semiconductor Cluster, Fintech and Medtech. 

The Cyber Innovation Hub will make us a world leader in a priority sector that both protects and enables the full potential of all other digitally-powered sectors. It’s a complete game changer x 2, 3, 4, 5 … one of the reasons why our £40M+ investment in the digitally-based compound semiconductor cluster, £3M investment in the revolutionary Media Cymru hub, £2M investment in the Jellagen medtech and £1.6M investment in FinTech Wales makes such good sense.

We’re creating an interconnected digital ecosystem in South East Wales that will be the envy of many – and a foundation stone for our future success. 

Connecting our Region with itself

CCR is transforming transport across South East Wales, through pioneering programmes that will connect our people and communities on a scale never seen before.

Our £50M+ Metro Plus programme is shaping a new level of connectivity (and driving economic regeneration) right across our Region – giving birth to schemes such as the Barry Docks Interchange, Cardiff East Bus Priority, Pontypool & New Inn Park & Ride, Porth Transport Interchange, and Severn Tunnel Junction Park & Ride.

These schemes – together with the proposed  Metro Central redevelopment of Wales’s busiest station, Cardiff Central – are supporting the wider South Wales Metro programme in delivering an integrated transport network fit for the 21st century and beyond.     

Connecting our businesses with good growth

Connecting businesses to investment is often the defining factor in market success, particularly here in the SME economy of our Region. As a catalyst for sustainable growth that generates employment and GVA while strengthening ESG, CCR is proud to have established the £50M Strategic Premises Fund (which recently secured the future of Pulse Plastics in Ebbw Vale) and launched the £50M PwC-managed Innovation Investment Capital fund. 

Both our funds and targeted investments (which include recent investments in Apex and Yoello) are designed to unleash the potential of enterprises across our Region – so it was perhaps no surprise that this April will see CCR’s inaugural Unleash Business Conference taking place at the ICC: connecting businesses to knowledge, opportunities and each other; as a celebration of current achievements and future success.    

Connecting people with opportunities

CCR is ultimately all about people – the 1.5 million people who make up half the Welsh population, in a region that is home to 50% of Wales’s economy.

Connecting those people with their life ambitions is at the heart of what we are here for – and the work of our CCR Regional Skills Partnership and Venture Skills & Talent Hub are blazing many trails in opening up the eyes and minds of our population to what is possible in life.

We stand for a region where no one is left behind and where everyone’s potential can be realised. The partnerships we are building between employers, training providers and educational establishments are focused on creating those pathways to meaningful employment and life-long learning that will make CCR a resilient, high-performing economy – built on future proofed communities where people are continually connected to rewarding opportunities that are right for them.    

Connecting our Region with the wider world

CCR is committed to connecting South East Wales to the wider world – raising our ambitions to be the best; by exploring synergies with the rest of the UK, continental Europe, and beyond.

Here in the UK, we’re a key part of the Western Gateway: an emerging £107 billion economic powerhouse that connects eight cities and three city regions, stretching from Swansea to Swindon. The Western Gateway is all about connectivity, with the declared ambition to link up regional metro systems, establish free ports, and make the region a gateway to the rest of Britain – and the world.

CCR is also looking to connect further afield, beyond the UK, in our mission to make our Region the best it can be – through initiatives such as our recent discussions with the Catalan Government, which explored how we can share knowledge and expertise to continually improve crucial areas such as cluster performance and skills development.  

This ‘Connectivity In Action’ series of features will scope in more detail how our programmes, partnerships – and individual enterprises in our SME economy – are driving and shaping the connectivity of our Region. So stay connected, and look out for our next article detailing how Cybersecurity is protecting and empowering our whole digital infrastructure …

 

#ConnectivityInAction  

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