Policy Forum for Wales

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7538736244

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

Morning, Tuesday, 21st April 2020

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.

Areas for discussion include:

  • progress so far and next steps;
  • governance, collaboration, and economic development;
  • building an inclusive economy; and
  • developing a skilled workforce.

Context and the focus for discussion

The conference takes place in the context of a range of 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;
  • 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.


There will be keynote addresses from:

  • David Rosser, Chief Regional Officer, South East Wales, Welsh Government;
  • Louise Parry, Deputy Director of Policy, Office of the Secretary of State for Wales;
  • Councillor Rosemarie Harris, Leader, Powys County Council; and
  • Councillor Rob Stewart, Leader, City & County of Swansea Council.

Further confirmed 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;
  • Delivering projects: infrastructure, funding and effective project management;
  • Economic development, promoting skills and developing research centres; and
  • Progress and prospects for City and Growth Deals in Wales.

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 a range of interested officials who have reserved places from the Welsh Government as well as representatives from: the Development Bank of Wales; Welsh European Funding Office; Transport for WalesNatural Resources Wales; the Department for International Trade; and Department for Work and Pensions.

Keynote Speaker

David Rosser

Chief Regional Officer, South East Wales, Welsh Government

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

Professor Mark Barry

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

Louise Parry

Deputy Director of Policy, Office of the Secretary of State for Wales


Rt Hon the Lord Davies of Gower


Brian Edy

Director, Steel & Metals Institute, Swansea University

Heather Myers

Chief Executive, South Wales Chamber of Commerce

Dr Barry Walters

Principal, Pembrokeshire College

Sarah John

Director, ALS Training and Member, Executive Board, National Training Federation Wales

Professor Martin Jones

Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor of Human Geography, Staffordshire University and Founding Co-Director, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods

Jean Church

National Chair, Institute of Directors Wales