The Leader of WLGA has today stressed the importance of working together to forge innovative solutions to raising productivity and developing a skilled workforce within our communities.
Councillor Debbie Wilcox addressed an exchange seminar to share learning and lessons of regional economic development between Wales and England, which was held jointly by the Welsh Government, Cardiff Capital Region and English Combined Authorities and coordinated by WLGA.
The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal alone will see £1.2 billion invested in the region over the next 20 years, with the aim of delivering up to 25,000 new jobs and acting as the catalyst for a further £4 billion of private sector investment. Similar large-scale investment has also been agreed for the Swansea region with the Swansea Bay Region City Deal, with North Wales set to make a case for the region to receive a similar cash boost by launching the North Wales Growth Bid. Work has also started on pursuing a Growth Deal in the Growing Mid Wales region.
WLGA Leader Councillor Wilcox (Newport), speaking in her capacity as the Employment and Skills Lead for the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal (CCRCD), said:
“Aside from representing multi-million pound investments in areas across Wales, City and Growth Deals will be a chance to provide a catalyst for further much-needed private sector investment. By working closer together in taking regional collaborative action, we can ensure that the full job-making potential of these deals are fully unlocked to spur local economic growth in our communities. Special social clauses in procurement contracts, for example, will lead to invaluable apprenticeships and training opportunities for residents in our communities. An innovative and collaborative approach to such investment will also ensure that we deliver demand-led employment and skills support for industry and infrastructure, which will enable economic growth.”
Councillor Wilcox added: “Local authorities are proud to be leading on significant projects like these that have the potential to greatly enhance prospects and job opportunities for the people in our communities. We look forward to working with all partners who share our enthusiasm in ensuring that we fulfil this exciting ambition. Local Authorities look forward to continue working with key employers, higher and further education institutions, and with both the Welsh and UK Governments to unlock the potential of the Cardiff Capital Region.”