Joint investment in National Software Academy (NSA)

Posted on Friday 18th August 2017

A proposal to use regeneration funding to support the retention of a prestigious university course in Newport is being considered.

Councillor Jane Mudd, Newport City Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, will make a decision on a £575,000 grant to the National Software Academy following consultation with all members.

A separate decision to sub-let three floors of the Information Station to the NSA will be made by Councillor Mark Whitcutt, Cabinet Member for Assets and Member Development, after similar consultation.

NSA, part of Cardiff University, has been based in a building near Newport Railway Station since it was launched in 2015 but it is not large enough for its planned expansion.

It is strategically important to the city's aspirations to develop as a technology hub as the Academy attracts inward investment by producing world-class graduates. Over the last 12 months, more than 120 companies have engaged with the NSA.

Newport City Council and Welsh Government have accrued £2.6 million to date as a result of joint ventures and it has been agreed by both that this should be spent on economic regeneration activities in Newport.

It is proposed that the £575,000 funding would be met from this joint venture pot of money. Cardiff University will also be investing £575,000.

This will secure the long term future and growth of the NSA in Newport, rather than being relocated in Cardiff, with the University investing about £2 million each year over the next 10 years.

It will also safeguard 10 high quality jobs and create six new ones; deliver at least 60 new undergraduates plus 20 MSc students each year; support up to 20 business projects per year and help grow a vibrant technology cluster in the city.

The move to the Information Station will be phased with the NSA due to move into one floor towards the end of this year.

Although some council staff based in the Information Station would have to relocate to other council buildings, the "face-to-face" services provided to residents would continue in the immediate future.

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