Westminster Social Policy Forum

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Next steps for the Western Gateway

Morning, Friday, 21st June 2024

Online


This conference will assess latest developments and next steps for the Western Gateway pan-regional partnership.


Delegates will consider progress so far and priorities moving forward if the partnership’s aims are to be achieved in attracting further private investment into Western England and South Wales, delivering sustainable economic growth, and improving co-ordination and collaboration between local authorities within the region.


There will also be discussion on how innovation in the area can be moved forward and next steps for positioning the region as a leader in meeting net zero ambitions and low carbon energy.  


The agenda looks at what will be needed from policy, and the roles of key stakeholders, in moving forward ambitions in the Gateway’s partnership with Bristol and Bath Regional Capital (BBRC), launched in December, which aims to unlock increased financial investment into the area, ahead of the expected publication of the region’s Plan for Sustainable Growth later this year.


The conference takes place as new research is conducted by EY to understand what the region can be doing to attract private sector investment to fund businesses, innovation and infrastructure.


With recommendations expected to be made to Government later this summer, delegates will discuss the best models to leverage investment from both the private and public sectors, and what can be learnt from the place-based investment model which has already been introduced by BBRC.


We also expect discussion on increasing sustainable development and cross-border connectivity, and maximising the impact on regional and national economic growth, and addressing social inequalities in the region.


Priorities for meeting net zero ambitions will also be considered, including latest thinking on development of hydrogen energy, decarbonisation initiatives and multilateral cooperation following the publication of the Western Gateway Delivery Pathway last year which aims to support 100,000 jobs across the region through investment in hydrogen.


We are pleased to be able to include a keynote session with Western Gateway Director, John Wilkinson. We are in contact with further senior speakers.


The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from Defra; DBT; DLUHC; DSIT; DfT; IPO; Innovate UK; and the Welsh Government.



Keynote Speaker

John Wilkinson

Director, Western Gateway

Speakers

Senior speaker confirmed from the National Grid Electricity Distribution

Councillor Annemieke Waite

Executive Member for Climate, Waste and Sustainability, North Somerset Council

Ben Pritchard

Cardiff Office Lead, Arup

Joanna Jenkinson

Director, GW4 Alliance

David Bull

Director, MyWorld

Tony Miles

CEO, DST Innovations

Paul Moorby

Chair, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership

Rhianydd Griffith

Stakeholder Lead, West of England Industrial Cluster

Councillor Huw Thomas

Leader, Cardiff Council

Luciana Ciubotariu

CEO, Celtic Freeports

Steve Horrax

Head of Energy Transition UK, Ramboll

Ed Rowberry

Chief Executive, Bristol and Bath Regional Capital

Alasdair MacDonald

Regional Director, Balfour Beatty