The Leaders of the Growing Mid Wales Board have shared their vision for the Mid Wales economy and progressing the Mid Wales Growth Deal with the Welsh and UK Governments on 11 June 2020.
Councillors Rosemarie Harris and Ellen ap Gwynn are the leaders of Powys County Council and Ceredigion County Council as well as the Growing Mid Wales Board. They shared their vision with the Welsh Government’s Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters MS and David TC Davies MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales.
In constructive discussions during a virtual meeting on 11 June 2020, they discussed a range of concerns, from the impact of the current pandemic and ensuring the Growth Deal plays its part of the broader strategy in recovering and growing the Mid Wales economy to the future.
In a joint statement, Councillors Harris and ap Gwynn said: “Our vision is ambitious, but achievable. We have worked closely with businesses and across Mid Wales to put our vision together.
The Coronavirus pandemic fundamentally affect our daily lives in a way that we have never seen. We are already seeing significant economic impacts globally, nationally and across Mid Wales.
Rather than pause the Growth Deal in order to understand this effect in more detail, it is imperative that we prepare the ground now for the recovery that will inevitably need to follow.
It’s an exciting step to be able to share our vision. Our plan is to use the Growth Deal to leverage further funding in partnership with both Governments to support much needed investment in the communities of the region by providing good quality jobs, and significant and sustainable growth.”
Work will now continue in earnest throughout the year to aim towards agreement of the Heads of Terms for the Growth Deal later in the year, before a Full Deal Agreement can be reached once programme level business cases are in place.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies MP said: “The Mid Wales Growth Deal will contribute to the recovery of the region following the coronavirus pandemic. By working closely with the people who live and work in mid Wales we can capitalise on the region’s strengths and realise its full potential.
“I am encouraged by the progress that has already been made and look forward to seeing the development of projects that create jobs and economic growth.”
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Economy, Lee Waters, said: “The Mid Wales Growth Deal has the potential to play an important part in the economic recovery of the region post-coronavirus and I’m pleased to see the progress made up to this point.
“Whilst an important milestone has been reached in setting out the vision and roadmap for a Growth Deal, further work is now needed to develop a programme of activities which can clearly demonstrate what can be delivered across the region and the outcomes to be achieved. This will be critical in reaching a point where Governments and the region can agree Heads of Terms and determine funding.
“The Welsh Government remains committed to working closely and constructively with regional partners and the UK Government to explore how a Growth Deal can benefit the area and its residents.”
The document that was submitted to the Welsh and UK Governments can be found here.