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£110m growth deal moves closer

Created on 07/11/2020 @ 09:11
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A deal that will help bring millions of pounds of investment and employment to the area has been agreed in principle.

The Mid Wales Growth Deal is worth at least £110 million to the area and it will be confirmed next week that the Wales and UK governments have agreed to funding the project.

Members of the Growing Mid Wales Board, which meets on Tuesday and is made up of representatives of Powys and Ceredigion county councils and representatives from business and government, will discuss how it now moves forward.

GMW, Strategic Manager, Carwyn Jones-Evans, will report to the meeting: “The letter outlines a clear acceptance of the case having been made in Mid Wales for a growth deal, positive confirmation of the approach taken by the region to date,  and affirmation of the way forward.”

He said that meetings were arranged in the coming weeks to develop the scope and detail of the initial heads of terms agreement.

Mr Jones-Evans believed that if “good progress” is made by all parties the contracts could be ready by the Board’s next meeting in December.

If then agreed by the board they could be signed with government ministers soon after,

It was jointly signed by Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates MS and Under-Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies MP.

They said: “We were pleased to be updated on the good progress being made in relation to the Mid Wales Growth Deal.

“The document is a good starting point to begin formal negotiations and has been well written and structured, articulating the case for change and
sets the Growth Deal in the context of a broader regional economic strategy for Mid Wales.”

“We believe that the Growth Deal has an important part to play in the recovery phase post Covid-19 and alignment with Government policy and priorities will be an important consideration as you move forward.

“We are keen to work with you to help realise the ambitions of agreeing heads of terms during the autumn, and a potential full deal agreement early in 2021.”

They add that there are three areas to focus on:

Governance & Assurance – to put in place the appropriate level of governance and to ensure proper management of public funds.
Portfolio Business Case Development – setting out what the region intends to deliver and the outcomes to be achieved as a result of intervention.
 Communications and Engagement – a clear and comprehensive communications plan which includes a range of planned activities to ensure that the Mid Wales Growth Deal maintains its profile and visibility,
In response to the letter both Ceredigion and Powys County Council leaders, Cllrs Ellen ap Gwynn and Rosemarie Harris have said that they want a joint meeting between all political leader “to ensure we do not slip beyond
the end of the calendar year.”

The Mid-Wales Growth Deal was mooted by Chancellor Philip Hammond in 2017, and was hoped to be worth as much as £200million.

In October 2019 the UK Government announced a £55 million injection of funding, spread over 15 years for the Mid Wales Growth Deal.

The Welsh Government will add £55million and it is hoped that another £55million will come from businesses.


By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service



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