As the major business representative organisations representing the breadth of businesses throughout South East Wales, we fully acknowledge and recognise the critical importance of the £1.2billion Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) City Deal, and its significant potential impact on the area’s future economy and well-being.
With objectives to create 25,000 jobs, upskill the region’s workforce, increase physical and digital connectivity, and lever an additional £4bn in private investment over its 20-year programme, the City Deal is an initiative which we fully support. Indeed, much has been promised in the formation of the City Deal and it is the reasonable expectation of business that this will be delivered.
We therefore hope that all ten local authorities within the CCR will give their commitment to their involvement in the City Deal in the votes taking place at each council in the coming weeks.
This support will enable the City Joint Cabinet of the council leaders to move confidently forward, and begin the transition process which will see dialogue with critical stakeholders such as business, and the completion of the City Deal operational structure – with the expectation from business that as a vital wealth-creating community, it is very much at the table.
We applaud the joint working between the authorities, which has seen the City Deal reach this stage. We have also welcomed the engagement with the business community over the past 18 months.
However, we now need the City Deal to move onto its next phrase, with the creation of the Economic Growth Partnership (EGP) and the Regional Business Organisation (RBO). The creation of these bodies will ensure business will be at the heart of the decision-making process, and enable business to play its role in the delivery of the City Deal, and critically, delivery of the recommendations of the CCR Growth and Competitiveness Commission Report, published in December.
We strongly urge all the authorities to support the City Deal, and we welcome the opportunity to sit down with Regional Cabinet at the earliest opportunity to discuss the next stages of implementation.
Ian Price, Director CBI Wales
Ben Cottam, Head of External Affairs, The Federation of Small Businesses Wales
Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Director, IoD Wales
Liz Maher, President, South and Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce