City Deal bid for Swansea Bay City Region
The Swansea Bay City Region has submitted a ground-breaking ‘Internet Coast’ City Deal bid, in excess of £500m over 20 years, to the UK and Welsh Governments.
The aim is to address the integrated universal themes and challenges of energy, health and well-being and economic acceleration by harnessing the transformational power of digital networks and the asset base of Swansea Bay. It is estimated that the City Deal investment could lever in total around £3.3bn of output and £1.3bn of gross value added for Wales, while supporting around 39,000 jobs in the region.
Sir Terry Matthews, Chair of the Swansea Bay City Region Board, said: “Swansea Bay became world famous in ‘the first machine age’. We aim to re-energise a vibrant and pioneering role in Wales and the UK as the world now enters ‘a new digital machine age.’
“There are echoes of the Industrial Revolution in this vision and I am pleased to be leading the region as we aim for a new place in the global economy. I can clearly see a Swansea Bay that is globally recognised for innovation and economic acceleration once again, ideally located on ‘a digital super highway connecting the UK and North America – London and New York.
“Think of the way the internet and broadband networks have transformed communications worldwide. Now imagine the same principle applied to future energy systems, to health and well-being and any number of other sectors. It is a massive opportunity and with City Deal support we can take a lead position in Wales and make our wider contribution to the UK and to Europe.
“In my letter to the Chancellor I have described the widest possible regional public sector commitment to this City Deal bid as ‘a leap of faith’ that has immense value. I sincerely hope that the bold vision and support is recognised by Government in Westminster and Cardiff Bay.
“I know also that there are many private sector partners, here in Swansea Bay, across Wales and the UK and around the world who are enthused by our ‘leap of logic’.
“We need to incubate, launch and grow an ecosystem of new, successful and fast growing companies here in Swansea Bay. With the clarity, direction and impetus that a City Deal can provide just watch us ‘move that needle’ to a higher level of growth.”
Welcoming the bid, Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “Under the expert leadership of Sir Terry, this is an enormously exciting bid that reflects a huge amount of public and private sector collaboration throughout the Swansea Bay City Region as we all work towards a shared goal of boosting economic prosperity, generating more jobs and attracting significant international inward investment.
“The bid, which reinforces Swansea’s future as a City of Innovation, shows how seriously we’re taking our commitment to improving people’s lives right across the region. It comes within weeks of major regeneration proposals being announced for Swansea’s Civic Centre and St David’s development sites that will help strengthen Swansea city centre’s position as both the regional capital of South West Wales and a key driver of the Swansea Bay City Region economy as a whole.”
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