Policy Forum for Wales

Next steps for delivering the Swansea Bay City Deal - governance, funding and economic impact across the region

Morning, Thursday, 4th April 2019



This timely conference will be a timely opportunity to discuss the delivery of the Swansea Bay City Deal, particularly following the Welsh and UK Government commissioned independent rapid independent review into the Deal.

Delegates will assess the Independent review recommendations, and discuss priorities for the Deal’s governance - including increasing the focus on the delivery of key projects, with the need to resolve issues surrounding levels of expertise and management involved in delivery teams, and how best to develop relationships between partners and increase collaboration.

We expect delegates to examine issues of accountability and effective project management - including more face-to-face contact between partners at project pre-scrutiny, and the appointment of a Project Director and the creation of the Portfolio Management Office to utilise expertise - as well as lessons that can be taken from more developed City Deals, and how that can be incorporated into the renewed project management structures through Integrated Assurance and Approval Plans.

With the Deal’s eleven projects being established across the region - in skills development, smart manufacturing, innovation, regeneration and life sciences, and seeking to build centres of research to support the regional economy - those attending will discuss how the Deal can be shaped as a single Portfolio - rather than individual, immutable projects - to deliver the intended ‘transformational change’ to the region and meet both community and business needs.

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 to support increased innovation and economic regeneration in the region, including through effective long-term investment. 

We expect this to include wider discussion including identifying business and skills needs for the regions industry and workforce, drawing more on the strengths of the region’s universities, and how projects within the Deal can complement and support the delivery of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, following the recent announcement of a reworked plan to deliver the lagoon without government financial support.

Keynote Speaker

Councillor Rob Stewart

Leader, City & County of Swansea Council

Keynote Speaker

Councillor Rob Stewart

Leader, City & County of Swansea Council


Suzy Davies AM

Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education and Welsh Language

Carole Green

Brexit and Business Correspondent, ITV Wales


Adrian Sutton

Managing Director, Vortex IoT

Dr Jane Davidson

Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement and Sustainability, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Harri Lloyd-Davies

President, South Wales Chamber of Commerce

Mark James

Chief Executive, Carmarthenshire County Council

Professor Mark Barry

Professor of Practice in Connectivity, Cardiff University

Dr Peter O’Brien

Senior Research Associate, CURDS, Newcastle University

Councillor Emlyn Dole

Leader, Carmarthenshire County Council

Chris Pembridge

Director, WSP

Mark Shorrock

Chief Executive, Tidal Lagoon Power

Mark Dacey

Principal and Chief Executive Officer, NPTC Group of Colleges