TO BE PUBLISHED April 2019
This timely conference examines progress and next steps for the Swansea Bay City Deal. It follows the recent joint announcement by the Welsh and UK Governments of a ‘rapid independent review’ into the Deal.
The Review is set to take stock of progress, determine whether all elements of the Deal can deliver in full the proposed economic benefits, consider due diligence and governance, and make recommendations that will inform future decision making regarding the release of government funding.
Delegates will consider priorities for the Deal’s governance and how effectively projects are progressing, with the Review seeking to identify the challenges that have emerged since the signing of the Deal which have potentially slowed progress, following concerns surrounding the business plan for the proposed Life Sciences and Wellbeing village in Llanelli. Discussion is also expected on issues of accountability and effective project management, as well as lessons that can be taken from more developed City Deals.
Further sessions will hear of the progress from a number of the Deal’s eleven projects being established across the region - in energy, smart manufacturing, innovation, regeneration and life sciences, and seeking to build centres of research to support the regional economy. Those attending will also discuss concerns surrounding whether the projects are too disconnected in their individual aims to deliver the intended ‘transformational change’ to the region.
Those in attendance will also look beyond the immediate focus of the Deal’s projects and seek to identify areas where the Deal’s networks and governance structures could be used as a foundation for the continued economic regeneration of the region, outside of the Deal’s current aims and remit.
We expect this to include wider discussion including identifying business and skills needs for the regions industry and workforce, consideration of more effective transport links to further integrate the regional economy and how the Deal can be utilised to secure greater inward investment in future.
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