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High-level strategy mooted for Severn cities

Words: Roger Milne

The political leaders of Cardiff and Newport City Councils have agreed with their counterpart in Bristol over the next steps in the joint initiative called the Severn Powerhouse.

This month the three so-called Great Western Cities bordering the Severn estuary will commission a high-level regional strategy to set out the case for investment and identify a number of transformational projects.

The report will be launched later this year.

The cities have agreed to focus on:

  • Improving transport links to each other, to London, and to other UK core cities;

  • Realising the potential for clean and renewable energy from the Severn estuary; and

  • Working together to build a case for the area as an internationally competitive location for business.

Phil Bale, leader of the City of Cardiff Council, said: “Through working together we can deliver a better and stronger economy for our city-regions, along with a better return on investment for the regional and national economy. To take this forward we’re commissioning a strategy which will set out the case for investment, identify the major projects that will make the difference, and set out the road map for making it all happen.”

Bob Bright, leader of Newport City Council, added: “Connectivity will be at the heart of our strategy. Investment has been secured to improve our respective city-regional transport and to electrify the Great Western mainline to London.

“But we also need to be connected to one another. We need to enable a free flow of talent, ideas and knowledge between our cities.”

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “We are committed to finding a way to unlock the power of the Severn Estuary. It’s right that the three cities on the Severn are grasping the opportunity to work together to make the most of our shared strengths.”