With the impending abolition of the tolls for the Severn Bridge, the seminar was a timely opportunity to consider the necessary steps to support the development of a ‘Western Powerhouse’ between Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Newport in order to capitalise on the economic opportunity.
Sessions considered the necessary steps to establish a ‘shared’ vision across the region to support economic development including identifying areas where the economies shared similarity, the opportunities for key sectors such as advanced manufacturing, the creative and tech sector, in addition to hearing and assessing examples of best practice for establishing regional partnerships from other areas of the UK.
Delegates discussed the priority improvements to digital and transport infrastructure - as well as housing provision in the region - in order to increase connectivity, deepen economic ties and develop conditions for increased economic growth to support businesses.
Those in attendance also considered the necessity to secure effective governance - across local, regional, Welsh Government and UK Government levels - in order to build strong and productive partnerships in the region. In addition, delegates also heard a perspective from another jurisdiction - namely the Embassy of Switzerland - on the country’s approach to cross-border collaboration.
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