By Claire Robson2018-03-22T06:03:00
Progress seems to have been slow since the city deal was announced a year ago but, as Claire Robson finds, local leaders remain confident.
The city had recently lost out on key economic boosters such as 2021 City of Culture and rail electrification, and hopes were high for a public/private sector funding package that promised to deliver 10,000 jobs over the next 15 years.
The city deal is intended to give the Swansea Bay City Region a £1.8bn uplift in GVA comprising: £241m of UK and Welsh government funding; £396m from the four linked local authorities of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire; and £637m of investment anticipated from the private sector.
The programme identified 11 projects across the key themes of economic acceleration, life science and wellbeing, energy and smart manufacturing. Each is underpinned by the delivery of enhanced digital infrastructure and supported by the development of associated talent and skills.
However, a year on from the prime minister’s visit, there appears to be little evidence that any of the 11 projects are being delivered. Locals, weary after a succession of previous regeneration plans never left the drawing board, might be forgiven for fearing the city deal will be another non-starter.
So can Swansea Bay now translate political rhetoric into tangible economic development?
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