AN £18m New Year boost is on the way to support the delivery of a number of major projects worth thousands of well-paid jobs to people in South West Wales.
The UK Government and Welsh Government will release the funding to the Swansea Bay City Deal investment portfolio in coming weeks, subject to approval at all four regional local authorities.
Funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector, the Swansea Bay City Deal is being led by Carmarthenshire County Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire Council and Swansea Council, in partnership with Swansea University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea Bay University Health Board and Hywel Dda University Health Board.
Three Swansea Bay City Deal projects have already been approved by the UK Government and Welsh Government – the Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District, Pembroke Dock Marine and Yr Egin creative and digital hub in Carmarthen.
Four other projects will also soon be considered for final approval from both governments. These include the Pentre Awel project proposed for Llanelli and the Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth programme proposed for Neath Port Talbot, along with the regional Homes as Power Stations and Digital Infrastructure projects that will benefit residents and businesses throughout the Swansea Bay City Region as a whole.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Bay City Deal Joint Committee Chairman, said:
“Once this £18m is released, it means £36m of the £241m from both governments will have been secured by the City Deal portfolio so far, with further major funding releases of this kind following on in future.
“This is great news for residents and businesses throughout the Swansea Bay City Region because it will support the delivery of many exciting infrastructure programmes and projects that will create thousands of well-paid jobs while helping accelerate regional economic recovery from Covid-19.
“Several projects are either already operational or on-site, including Yr Egin phase one in Carmarthen and the indoor arena development in Swansea that will be opening in late 2021, with a pipeline of others soon following to benefit people throughout Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and Swansea.
“Along with the four further projects soon being considered by both governments for final approval, detailed business case planning work is on-going for two other City Deal projects: the life science and well-being campuses project proposed for Swansea and a regional skills and talent initiative that will generate training pathways for local people to access the high-value jobs being created.
“2021 is going to be a year of significant progress for the Swansea Bay City Deal, which is testament to the commitment of all partners involved and a huge amount of hard work behind the scenes.”
Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, commented:
“The Swansea Bay City Deal is making fantastic progress. With several major projects already well underway, this money from the UK Government and partners which is being released in the coming weeks will continue its momentum into 2021.
“The UK Government has backed growth deals covering every part of Wales. They will help us build back better and stronger from the devastating impact of Covid-19, creating and sustaining jobs in every part of the country and revitalising local economies.
“I look forward to seeing the continued progress and completion of the latest Swansea Bay City Deal projects, with more to come during the year.”
Lee Waters, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, said:
“The Swansea Bay City Deal will be a boost for the region and I am very pleased we are now releasing a further £18m to accelerate the development of further projects to stimulate the local economy.
“Progress has continued at pace over the past six months despite the huge impact of coronavirus and initiatives such as this will be key in returning us to the economic growth we were seeing before the virus. I look forward to seeing further progress as the City Deal moves into the delivery phase.”