The biggest ever investment for south west Wales has been secured following the approval of the ground-breaking Swansea Bay City Deal.
Prime Minister Theresa May and Welsh Government Ministers will visit Swansea Bay today, Monday, to sign the deal together with members of the Swansea Bay City Region Board.
Leaders from Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire councils are celebrating having secured the £1.3billion deal that will transform the economic landscape of the area, boost the local economy by £1.8billion, and generate almost 10,000 new jobs over the next 15 years.
Eleven major projects will now get underway, delivering world-class facilities in the fields of energy, smart manufacturing, innovation and life science, with major investment in the region’s digital infrastructure and workforce skills and talent underpinning each.
The total investment package is made up of £241million of UK and Welsh Government funding, £396million of other public sector money and £637million from the private sector.
The Swansea Bay City Region Board - including the four local authorities together with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Hywel Dda University Health Boards, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity St David’s, and private sector companies - worked under the Chairmanship of Sir Terry Matthews for over a year to develop and submit the City Deal proposal to the Welsh and UK Governments.
It culminated in a pitch to Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, and other UK Ministers and their advisors, following months of rigorous challenge and negotiation.
Mark James CBE, lead Chief Executive of the Swansea Bay City Region and Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “This City Deal is a once in a generation opportunity to further consolidate the region’s role in technological innovation.
“The Swansea Bay City Region will now lead innovation in developing and commercialising solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in the fields of life sciences, energy, smart manufacturing and digital networks in both urban and rural areas.
“This is a unique opportunity to increase prosperity and opportunity for the region.”
Cllr Rob Stewart, lead Leader of the Swansea Bay City Region and Leader of Swansea City Council, said: “This is among the biggest investments Wales has ever seen, so it's an historic day for the Swansea Bay City Region.
“The City Deal will improve people's lives in Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire by generating up to 10,000 jobs and investing in world class technology that will revolutionise the way sectors like energy, social care, healthcare and entrepreneurship are delivered and supported here.
“This has always been about making sure South West Wales gets its fair share of investment for the benefit of our residents.
“The state-of-the-art projects the investment will deliver will turbo-charge the regional economy and help attract even more investment in future.
“The approved City Deal is also terrific news for our businesses because not only will the introduction of cutting-edge digital infrastructure help embrace and harness innovation, but the construction of new developments will boost the regional supply chain as well.”
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP, Jonathan Edwards, has congratulated the Plaid Cymru Leader of Carmarthenshire Council, Emlyn Dole, for his leadership in securing the Swansea City Deal, announced today by the UK Prime Minister.
The Plaid Cymru MP congratulated the council leader for succeeding in bringing together the four local authorities involved in the deal to develop the strong business case behind the project, and for committing to fund the project.
Commenting, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards, said: “It’s excellent news that the UK Government has finally decided to back the City Deal, after continued pressure to do so before the election period begins.
“Emlyn Dole the Plaid Cymru leader of Carmarthenshire Council must be congratulated for his tireless work in forming the business case for the City Deal and especially for his commitment to fund the project.
“As our political discourse becomes more and more polarised, it is no mean feat to bring together not only the four local authorities but the Welsh Government and Westminster as well to get this City Deal off the ground, as Emlyn Dole has managed to do."