Cardiff Capital Region city deal signed
Posted on Tuesday 15th March 2016
A £1.2 billion City Deal to unlock significant economic growth across the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) was formally signed today. The Leader of Newport City Council, Councillor Bob Bright, signed the deal on behalf of the council.
Over its lifetime, local partners expect the City Deal to deliver as many as 25,000 new jobs, and some £4billion of private sector investment across the region.
The ten leaders of the local authorities in the CCR, the Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Greg Hands, and First Minister Carwyn Jones signed the City Deal document in a ceremony at Admiral’s head office in Cardiff.
The City Deal will help boost economic growth by improving transport links, increasing skills, helping people into work and giving businesses the support they need to grow.
It will also establish strong governance across the region through a Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet. Through this, the ten local authority leaders to join up decision making, pool resources, and partner with business.
The City Deal includes:
- £1.2 billion investment in the Cardiff Capital Region’s infrastructure through a 20-year Investment Fund. A key priority for investment will be the delivery of the South East Wales Metro, including the Valley Lines Electrification programme.
- The creation of a non-statutory Regional Transport Authority to co-ordinate transport planning and investment, in partnership with the Welsh Government.
- The development of capabilities in Compound Semiconductor Applications. The UK Government will invest £50 million to establish a new Catapult Centre in Wales. The CCR will also prioritise investment in research and development, and provide support for high value, innovative businesses.
- The Cardiff Capital Region Skills and Employment Board will be created (building on existing arrangements) to ensure skills and employment provision is responsive to the needs of local businesses and communities. The CCR and the Welsh Government will work with Department of Work and Pensions to co-design the future employment support from 2017 for people with a health condition or disability and/or long term unemployed.
- A Cardiff Capital Region Business Organisation will be established to ensure that there is a single voice for business to work with local authority leaders.
- The Welsh Government and the Cardiff Capital Region commit to a new partnership approach to housing development and regeneration. This will ensure the delivery of sustainable communities, through the use and re-use of property and sites.
On signing the deal, Councillor Bob Bright, Leader of Newport City Council said: “Today’s signing of the £1.2 billion City Deal was a landmark event for south Wales, the Cardiff Capital Region and for Newport. We can now plan ahead at a regional level with two decades of economic investment certainty in our sights.
“The planned Metro system will provide greater connectivity for all ten partners, and Newport’s gateway city position will be a key part of this new transport infrastructure.
“We also welcome news of further financial flexibility for local authorities who will be able to use alternative finance sources. Friars Walk is testament to how using finance effectively at a local level can provide huge economic benefits.
“And we will wait to see the how the devolution of business rate income can help the ten local authorities support local businesses on the ground, to ensure they can seize the huge opportunity the City Deal provides”.
Both the UK and Welsh Government are contributing £500 million to the CCR Investment Fund respectively. The ten local authorities in the CCR will contribute a minimum of £120 million over the duration of the Fund.
Decisions on the prioritisation of the proposed schemes other than the Metro will be taken by a CCR Cabinet, in consultation with business leaders and education professionals.
In order to deliver the CCR‘s City Deal commitments and a longer-term economic strategy, the ten local authorities have requested greater financial autonomy and flexibility. As part of this City Deal the Welsh Government will explore with the Cardiff Capital Region:
- The devolution of business rate income above an agreed growth baseline to provide funding for the City Deal programme.
- Providing the ability to levy an infrastructure supplement.
- Creating the option for the local authorities to use alternative finance sources.
- Removing conditions around some specific Welsh Government grants, to allow funding to be pooled at the regional level in areas such as school support and interventions that seek to address poverty.
Welcoming the City Deal, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said: “I want to create a devolution revolution around the UK and empower local leaders in Wales, so it’s fantastic to announce a historic City deal in the Cardiff City Region worth over £1.2bn.
“This landmark deal is expected to create up to 25,000 jobs and leverage £4 billion of private sector investment by handing real power to local decision makers that are best placed to ensure the welsh economy is fit for the future.”
The First Minister said: “We have lobbied hard for a City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region and put more than £500m on the table to support improving transport infrastructure within the region. Today’s announcement sees that vision become a reality – it is a vote of confidence in the region and a huge economic boost.
“Central to the success of a City Deal is the close collaboration and partnership between all ten local authorities. It is a great example of what can be achieved by coming together for the greater good of our Capital region.”
The City Deal signed today must be formally ratified by the members of the ten local authorities.