Policy Forum for Wales

City and Growth Deals in Wales: progress and next steps for delivery

Morning, Tuesday, 21st April 2020

Central Cardiff

This conference will examine the ongoing process of agreeing and implementing City and Growth Deals in Wales, including developing effective proposals, delivering projects and supporting economic development.


There will be keynote addresses from:

  • David Rosser, Chief Regional Officer, South East Wales, Welsh Government;
  • Councillor Rosemarie Harris, Leader, Powys County Council;
  • Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn, Leader, Gwynedd Council;
  • Councillor Rob Stewart, Leader, City & County of Swansea Council; and
  • Professor Mark Barry, Professor of Practice in Connectivity, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University.

Further speakers include: Brian Edy, Director, Steel & Metals Institute, Swansea University; and Dr Barry Walters, Principal, Pembrokeshire College.

The agenda in summary

  • Assessing agreed and prospective City and Growth Deals in Wales - the current state of play;
  • Developing proposals going forward - governance, consensus and collaboration;
  • Key issues for delivering projects: developing infrastructure, securing funding and ensuring effective project management;
  • Supporting economic development, promoting skills and developing research centres; and
  • Progress and prospects for City and Growth Deals in Wales.

Context and the focus for discussion

The conference takes place in the context of issues emerging from policy developments, including:

  • Head of Terms being signed for the North Wales Growth Deal, with both Welsh and UK Governments committed to investing a total of £240m, in addition to further funding from the private sector and partners - with seven programmes agreed, including projects on digital connectivity, energy, agriculture, manufacturing and skills;
  • The recent Welsh Affairs Committee report on City and Growth Deals - with discussion expected on issues such as investment, the process of allocating funding to councils, learning from successful projects, and coordination and communication cross-border and between governments;
  • £55m funding announced towards Mid Wales projects, expected to help encourage further private sector investment in the region;
  • Reports that £18m funding from the UK and Welsh Governments has been secured for two digital and creative projects as part of the Swansea Bay City Deal;
  • The Government’s manifesto pledge for the negotiation of a cross-border Marches Growth Deal, proposed to invest particularly in transport infrastructure;
  • Wales Audit Office reviews relating to the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, on the Deal’s first investment decision and on governance and accountability arrangements since then, finding that the Deal’s arrangements would support decision making well, but that transparency needed to improve; and
  • Independent review of the Swansea Bay City Deal, carried out in Spring last year for the UK and Welsh Governments, including recommendations to improve the deliverability of the Deal’s outcomes.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

Policy Forum for Wales conferences typically attract strong interest from policymakers. This seminar will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: the Welsh Government; the Development Bank of Wales; the Welsh European Funding Office; Transport for Wales; and the Department for International Trade.

Keynote Speakers

Councillor Rob Stewart

Leader, City & County of Swansea Council

David Rosser

Chief Regional Officer, South East Wales, Welsh Government

Councillor Rosemarie Harris

Leader, Powys County Council


Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn

Leader, Gwynedd Council

Professor Mark Barry

Professor of Practice in Connectivity, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University

Brian Edy

Director, Steel & Metals Institute, Swansea University

Dr Barry Walters

Principal, Pembrokeshire College