Growth deal aims to create over 1,000 jobs in Mid Wales

By Luke Williams   |   Reporter   |
Wednesday 19th January 2022 5:00 pm
@LukePowysNews
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CELEBRATING THE PARTNERSHIP: Clockwise from top left: Leader of Ceredigion County Council Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Powys County Council Cllr Rosemarie Harris, Welsh Government Economy Minster Vaughan Gething, and Minister for UK Government David TC Davies.

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A plan which could bring more than 1,000 jobs to Mid Wales has been given the green light.

The £110m Mid Wales Growth deal was signed on Thursday, January 13, which is hoped to bring benefit to both Powys and Ceredigion.

The Final Deal Agreement of the Deal was signed by the Welsh Government, UK Government and local authorities Ceredigion County Council and Powys County Council.

The ground-breaking partnership brings a combined investment of £110m from UK and Welsh Government, which is expected to lever in significant additional investment from other public and private sources, maximising the impact in the Mid Wales region.

The money will be invested into areas such as digital, tourism, agriculture food & drink, research & innovation and supporting enterprise.

In addition, the programmes and projects supported by the Growth Deal will be expected to produce wider social and economic benefits, such as enhanced quality of life, creating business opportunities following the impact of COVID-19, decarbonisation in industry and consideration of climate change impacts.

Between 1,100 and 1,400 new jobs could be created by 2032.

Leader of Powys County Council, Councillor Rosemarie Harris said: “I am delighted to be able to share this signed agreement with the businesses and communities of Mid Wales. We’ve worked hard to secure this investment in what has been a challenging period as businesses and the public sector have responded to the Covid pandemic.”

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council and joint chair of the Growing Mid Wales Board said: “We’d both like to thank UK Government and Welsh Government for the support and commitment shown to ensure this hugely significant investment for Mid Wales. Both Rosemarie and myself have worked tirelessly over recent years to ensure this investment turned into a reality - and this signing at last marks the final phases of development before the funding can start flowing.”

The signing of the agreement means that the delivery framework of the Growth Deal is now in place to allow programme and project business cases to come forward. The Growth Deal is a long-term investment that can provide capital funding to support regionally significant interventions that drive private sector investment and stimulate growth.

Ensuring the success of the Growth Deal will be a collective endeavour across all regional partners, with strong private sector input. A new Economic Advisory Group (EAG) consisting of senior, experienced business leaders is being established, to ensure there is continued advice and guidance to enable the Deal’s potential to be maximised.

Both Leaders added: “Collectively, we look forward to seeing the benefits this important investment will bring for people and businesses across Mid Wales. There are some hard yards ahead of us yet to ensure this investment makes a difference to our communities. However, we have invested time, effort and have a team in place to help move this forward.

“Working alongside both Economic Development teams in Powys and Ceredigion - the Growth Deal team will ensure we align investment potentials to the right funding opportunities. We actively encourage our businesses and stakeholders to make their investment proposals known to our team - so that we can work together towards long-term success.”

Minister for the UK Government, David TC Davies, said: “This is an incredibly important milestone for Mid Wales. The UK Government has huge ambitions for the people of mid Wales, and these ambitions will now be backed by £55m UK Government investment. This Deal has the power to transform livelihoods, creating jobs and spreading prosperity and I’m absolutely delighted to be signing it today. I look forward to seeing the tangible benefits of today’s agreement in the coming months and years.”

Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “I am delighted to be able to sign the Final Deal Agreement today alongside our regional partners and the UK Government. This signals a major step forward for the region and it is important that momentum is maintained so that the region can progress towards the delivery of the Deal.

“The Mid Wales Growth Deal, boosted by £55m Welsh Government investment, has an important role to play in our immediate economic recovery and reconstruction in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. I am now keen to see the region take forward implementation and investment in projects and programmes which will help deliver tangible and significant benefits for the regional economy.”

“It will also be key to deliver against the future vision and priorities for Mid Wales, helping to promote the economic wellbeing of the region whilst addressing some of our collective ambitions around decarbonisation and a more prosperous, green and equal economy.”

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Mid Wales and MS for Brecon and Radnorshire, James Evans, said: “The Mid Wales Growth Deal will play a vital role in rejuvenating our local economy, which is extremely fragile as a result of from coronavirus.“Creating more jobs in the area and investing in our communities is an important step in making sure we bounce back after the pandemic and make Mid Wales a thriving economic hub.“This deal just goes to show what can be achieved when Labour ministers stop blaming Westminster for everything and actually work with the Conservative UK Government to make the lives of Welsh residents even better.“I hope we see a more collaborative approach between the two governments going forward on issues which will deliver for the people of Wales.”The signed Final Deal Agreement will be available on the Growing Mid Wales website www.growingmid.wales