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15/03/2016

Cardiff region signs city deal

Words: Laura Edgar
Cardiff / iStock_000012921069

Cardiff Capital Region has signed a £1.2 billion city deal to unlock significant economic growth across the area.

The 10 leaders of the local authorities in the Cardiff Capital Region, 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 at a ceremony at Admiral’s head office in Cardiff.

The deal comes ahead of Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Budget tomorrow (16 March).

Jones said: “We have lobbied hard for a city deal for the Cardiff Capital Region and put more than £500 million on the table to support improving transport infrastructure within the region. This 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 10 local authorities. It is a great example of what can be achieved by coming together for the greater good of our capital region.”

Local partners and the chancellor expect the city deal to deliver up to 25,000 jobs, £4 billion of private investment across the region, improve transport links, increase skills, helping people into work and provide support to business to enable their growth.

The city deal includes:

  • £1.2 billion investment in the Cardiff Capital Region’s infrastructure through a 20-year investment fund. The delivery of the South East Wales Metro, including the Valley Lines Electrification programme is a key priority. The local authorities have committed to adopt an assurance framework for the fund, to “ensure good value for money” and that proposed projects are underpinned by a “robust business case”.

  • The creation of a non-statutory Regional Transport Authority to coordinate transport planning and investment, in partnership with the Welsh Government.

  • The Welsh Government and the Cardiff Capital Region commit to a new partnership approach to housing development and regeneration. This will include the delivery of sustainable communities.

  • The Welsh Government will explore with the region a number of things to ensure that the region gets greater financial autonomy and flexibility, such as providing the ability to levy an infrastructure supplement.

Both the UK and Welsh governments are contributing £500 million each to the investment fund while the 10 local authorities will contribute a minimum of £120 million over the duration of the fund.

Prioritisation of the schemes will decided by the Cardiff Capital Region cabinet in consultation with business leaders and education professionals.

Roisin Willmott, director of RTPI Cymru, said: “RTPI Cymru welcomes the Cardiff City Deal; this offers a real opportunity to sustainably develop the south-east of Wales. Working on a strategic regional basis will bring long-term benefits.

“RTPI Cymru particularly welcomes the focus on investment in public transport for the region. We would hope that any of the structures established to take this forward are in line with the Strategic Development Panels set out in the Planning (Wales) Act and that a strategic spatial approach is adopted.”

The deal can be read in full here.

Image credit | iStock

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