The Cluster Development and Growth Programme

The Cluster Growth and Development Programme (CDGP) is a £6.6 million programme designed to drive economic development and prosperity across Southeast Wales.
Aerial shot of Southeast Wales

What is the project about?

Jointly funded by the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) and the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund, the CDGP will deliver three targeted projects: a Skills Programme, a series of Academic-Industry Partnerships, and a Business Growth Programme. These programmes will boost job creation, drive industry-led upskilling initiatives, and accelerate business development – delivering CCR’s goals of inclusive growth.

In line with CCR’s Regional Economic and Industrial Plan, the CDGP will deliver these projects with central focus on CCR’s priority sectors: FinTech, Cyber, Creative Industries, Compound Semiconductors, MedTech, and Net Zero. The Programme will accelerate CCR’s ambitions to build upon the region’s sectoral strengths, enhance innovation capability, and drive business growth & inward investment to Southeast Wales.


The CDGP consists of three programmes, each of which will be managed by a delivery partner and wider collaborators.

  • The Skills Programme will be delivered by Cardiff and Vale College, alongside a network of FE, HE & specialist skills partners. Focused on the Digital, Net Zero, and Advanced Manufacturing sectors, the Programme will deliver targeted initiatives to tackle skills shortages, create new talent pipelines, and widen access to upskilling.
  • The series of Academic-Industry Partnerships will be led by the University of South Wales in a consortium of higher education and further education partners. The programme will bring industry and academia together to identify solutions to industry challenges and develop innovative ideas to accelerate industry-led research and development.
  • The Business Growth Programme will be delivered by Grant Thornton LLP, alongside delivery partners, Business in Focus and Cardiff Metropolitan University School of Business. The programme will provide scale-up support for high-growth potential businesses, offering tailored support and mentoring, facilitating strategic partnerships, and ensuring businesses are investment-ready. Express your interest here.
Who is the investment for?
  • The Skills Programme will support CCR-based cluster businesses to upskill existing employees as well as supporting wider investment programmes. The Programme will create new talent pools rooted in Southeast Wales, including graduates, career changers, individuals who are underemployed or from underrepresented backgrounds who will be invited to apply to a range of skills opportunities.
  • The Academic-Industry Partnerships are aimed at enterprises based in the Cardiff Capital Region who would benefit from access to research, development, and innovation services to develop new business ideas.
  • The Business Growth Programme seeks high-growth potential enterprises located in the Cardiff Capital Region, ideally operating within CCR’s priority clusters, who can demonstrate their commitment and drive to scale up their business.

Investment and leverage


CCR Investment



UK Shared Prosperity Fund


How will this Programme benefit the region?

Whilst the Programme focuses on CCR’s priority sectors, this impact will be felt throughout the region by:

  • Widening access to upskilling by developing an inclusive and diverse talent pool that will address skills shortages within the region, with particular focus on the Northern Valleys.
  • Facilitating collaboration between industry and academia to boost industry-led research, development, and innovation.
  • Accelerating business development to enhance the region’s reputation as the place to grow enterprises.

This will be achieved by:

  • Addressing our region’s most pressing skills challenges to enable businesses to grow and expand.
  • Facilitating strategic academic-industry partnerships to solve industry challenges.
  • Scaling-up high-growth potential enterprises to drive inward investment to our region.

Key Partners & People Involved

UK Government
Levelling Up
Levelling Up
CCR Partner Logo
Cardiff Capital Region
Cardiff and Vale College
PwC Partner Logo
University of South Wales
Grant Thornton
Grant Thornton
Cardiff Metropolitan Partner Logo
Cardiff Metropolitan School of Business
Business in Focus
Business in Focus
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