Search site

Swansea Bay Leaders celebrate historic City Deal

The biggest ever investment for South West Wales has been secured following the signing of the ground-breaking Swansea Bay City Deal.

Swansea city centre (Night)

Leaders from Swansea Council, Carmarthenshire Council, Neath Port Talbot Council and Pembrokeshire Council 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 under way, 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 the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Hywel Dda University Health Boards, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, 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, Lord Michael Heseltine and other UK Ministers and their advisors, following months of rigorous challenge and negotiation.

Cllr Rob Stewart, lead Leader of the Swansea Bay City Region and Leader of Swansea 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.

"Enormous credit should go to everyone involved in the City Deal bid. The 'Team Swansea Bay' approach between partners in the public and private sectors will considerably benefit many people in the near future, with our focus now on aggressive spending to ensure residents reap the rewards of the investment as soon as possible."

Mark James, 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."

In Swansea, there are a number of City Deal projects. These include the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District.

Under this project, 100,000 square feet of flexible and affordable new office space will be constructed on Kingsway in the city centre for tech businesses as part of a digital village that will benefit from world class digital infrastructure.

This will help support local enterprising and entrepreneurial talent, allowing these businesses to set-up and flourish.

The City Deal will also lead to a 215,000 square foot box village development on the University of Wales Trinity Saint David's under-construction Waterfront Innovation Quarter in SA1.

Built out of shipping containers, this will provide affordable space for start-up firms with links to the university's academic programme.

City Deal approval will also enable the digitalisation of the 5,000 to 6,000-seat indoor arena planned for the city centre's St David's development site, as well as the development of a digital square with state-of the-art digital screens and digital artworks.

Overall, the £169m Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District will generate over 1,300 jobs. The digital village on Kingsway will also complement broader plans to develop an employment district on Kingsway, which is why the environment will soon be improved there to help attract major employers.

Cllr Stewart said: "This is an historic day for Swansea and the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole because City Deal approval will lead to an unprecedented level of investment, helping improve thousands of people's lives.

"Across the region, the City Deal investment will create more than 9,500 new jobs, opening opportunities for people to find well-paid employment.

"As well as supporting local business talent to set-up, thrive and generate high-quality employment opportunities, the projects we've identified for Swansea will transform Swansea's cultural and entertainment offer, thanks to enabling the digitalisation of an indoor arena that will attract world class musicians, comedians, exhibitions and conferences to the city centre. This will generate more footfall and spending for our existing businesses, while also creating far more opportunities for local supply chain companies during construction of the developments.

"The 'Team Swansea Bay' approach between the public and private sectors we've developed over recent years was always aimed at delivering innovative projects for the benefit of local residents. It's hugely satisfying that we've delivered on our promises by ensuring Swansea gets its fair share from the UK Government."

Powered by GOSS iCM