Swansea Bay City Region
UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and Mark Drakeford Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Local Government met the Leaders of the four Councils of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot on 20 March, 2017 to sign the Deal for the Swansea Bay City Region.
The City Deal is expected to give the Swansea Bay City Region a permanent uplift in its GVA of £1.8 billion and will generate almost 10,000 new jobs over the next 15 years.
The total investment package is made up of £241 million UK and Welsh Government funding, £396 million other Public Sector investment and £637 million from the Private Sector.
The City Deal encompasses 11 projects across key themes of Economic Acceleration, Life Science and Well-being, Energy, and Smart Manufacturing. An enhanced Digital Infrastructure & next generation wireless networks and the development of workforce skills and talent will underpin each.
ARCH chair Professor Andrew Davies said:
“The City Deal is crucial for this region. The deal will help us deliver projects within the ARCH portfolio.”
The City Deal bid has seen 4 local authorities, 2 health boards and Higher and Further Education come together with the private sector to secure funding package which will help boost the economy, create new jobs and improve healthcare in this part of Wales.
Life Science and Wellbeing is one of the themes for the City Region. The vision is "To place the region at the forefront of life science innovation and to be recognised as a destination of choice for global investment and enterprise in the field of life sciences and wellbeing. To create and use an enhanced digital infrastructure to accelerate development in the area of life sciences".
Two projects will be delivered under the Life Science and Wellbeing strand, they are the development of the Life Science and Wellbeing Campuses at Morriston and SIngleton and the Llanelli Wellness & Life Science Village.
What will the ARCH Life Science and Wellbeing Campuses project do?
· Strengthen the region's ability to commercialise research in life science
· Attract inward investment
· Increase the export of high value goods and services in the field of life sciences
How will the Campuses project do this?
The project will include a new Campus at Morriston Hospital and an extension of the existing Singleton Hospital Campus.
These Campuses will bring together expertise from research, business and health industries to look at leading developments in clinical research and healthcare technologies. This will provide opportunities to trial and develop goods and services in these globally significant fields. The Campuses will be connected to each other and the well-being village using digital technologies.
The ARCH partners are working together to find a regional solution to major challenges facing the health service. These three big organisations have chosen to come together to action significant change at scale - and at pace.
Professor Davies added:
“Nothing like ARCH has been attempted in Wales before with this level of ambition or on this scale. It is also the first time that the NHS has been involved in economic development at this level and the City Deal, in helping to transform healthcare services in South West Wales, will also deliver well-paid jobs and high-level skills."
Hywel Dda chair and ARCH board member Bernardine Rees OBE said:
“We are proud to be part of ARCH, it shows our commitment to transforming the way the region delivers care and promotes wellbeing. The health and wellbeing schemes will partner first-class health, research and life science, with innovative leisure opportunities to help people live healthier lives.
“This project shows the importance of a collaborative approach between all sectors. To achieve a real step-change in the health of our communities, we must understand the impact wellness has on all areas and sectors - medicine, research, education, sport, community public health hospitality and business. This project will be the first of its kind in Wales.
“As well as improving health and wellbeing in the area, we are keen to see this project help boost the local economy and create new jobs.”
Other schemes are currently being scoped for Swansea City Centre, Neath, Bridgend and across the Hywel Dda area. Swansea University’s Dean of the School of Management Professor Marc Clement has been a key part of the City Deal work. He said:
“We want the region to become a “living laboratory” – essentially a test bed for innovation which will enable transformation.
“The City Deal will allow the ARCH partners to accelerate their work to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of South West Wales.
“One of the main aims of the City Deal, and indeed ARCH, is to accelerate growth in our region for the benefit of the people who live here.
“We aim to create more well-paid jobs, more opportunity, deliver pioneering world-class healthcare, and ensure a better quality of life.”
For more on the City Region click here