The Mid Wales Growth Deal reached a significant milestone yesterday [Tuesday, 22 December] with the signing of the Heads of Terms by the Welsh Government, UK Government and the region’s local authorities.
The signing demonstrates a commitment by both governments and the local authorities to work together to deliver a deal to support the economy of the region.
It also commits both the Welsh and UK Governments to back the growth deal with a £55m investment each.
The growth deal has been developed from the Vision for Growing Mid Wales which was published earlier this year and set out the broader economic strategy for the region. It will play a vital role in unlocking and attracting further investment from the public and private sectors.
The region can now progress to the next stage which includes bringing forward more detailed proposals in the form of a Portfolio Business Case which will be scoped from eight priority areas for intervention, including digital connectivity, applied research and innovation, energy and skills.
In a joint statement, the Leaders of Ceredigion and Powys County Councils, Cllrs Ellen ap Gwynn and Rosemarie Harris said “This is a significant milestone for us in Mid Wales, showing the dedication and commitment to the region of all partners – and is a very positive development at the end of a very difficult year.
“The hard work however, starts now. The next year will be crucial in laying the foundations for delivering a Growth Deal for the next 15 years together with the businesses and communities of Mid Wales. It will be crucial to use this as an opportunity to deliver and leverage significant investment into the regional economy, catalysing further investment from the private and wider public and third sectors.”
“We’d both like to thank both Governments, our private sector partners and the many partners and stakeholders in the region that have supported us thus far, and look forward to shaping the proposals in earnest shortly.”
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said: “This is an important day for Mid Wales. I’m pleased to have signed the Heads of Terms which now commits us all to work together on the next stage of the growth deal.
“This year has been incredibly difficult and challenging for all of us, with businesses particularly affected. The growth deal will be an important factor in dealing with the on-going impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, and it’s good to see everyone coming together to make this initiative a success.”
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “The UK Government is working to bring greater investment and growth to communities across Wales and today’s signing represents real progress in achieving those aims.
“The Mid Wales Growth Deal is a significant opportunity to transform the region. We will build back better from the pandemic and bring opportunities and jobs to our communities which is why we have already committed £55m to this exciting portfolio of investment.
“We will continue to work with our partners to develop the growth deal and ensure it delivers for the people and businesses of Mid Wales.”