24 Feb 2016 Visionary ARCH health partnership is part of ground-breaking £500million Swansea Bay City Region bid

THE Swansea Bay City Region has submitted a ground-breaking ‘Internet Coast’ City Deal bid, in excess of £500 million over 20 years, to both the UK and Welsh Governments.

internetcoast.jpgThe aim is to address the integrated universal themes and challenges of energy, health and well-being and economic acceleration by harnessing the transformational power of digital networks and the asset base of Swansea Bay. It is estimated that the City Deal investment could lever in total around £3.3bn of output and £1.3bn of gross value added for Wales, while supporting around 39,000 jobs in the region.

Chair of the Swansea Bay City Region Board Sir Terry Matthews said: “Swansea Bay became world famous in ‘the first machine age’. We aim to re-energise a vibrant and pioneering role in Wales and the UK as the world now enters ‘a new digital machine age.’

“There are echoes of the Industrial Revolution in this vision and I am pleased to be leading the region as we aim for a new place in the global economy.  I can clearly see a Swansea Bay that is globally recognised for innovation and economic acceleration once again, ideally located on ‘a digital super highway connecting the UK and North America - London and New York.

“Think of the way the internet and broadband networks have transformed communications worldwide. Now imagine the same principle applied to future energy systems, to health and well-being and any number of other sectors. It is a massive opportunity and with City Deal support we can take a lead position in Wales and make our wider contribution to the UK and to Europe.”

“In my letter to the Chancellor I have described the widest possible regional public sector commitment to this City Deal bid as ‘a leap of faith’ that has immense value. I sincerely hope that the bold vision and support is recognised by Government in Westminster and Cardiff Bay.

“I know also that there are many private sector partners, here in Swansea Bay, across Wales and the UK and around the world who are enthused by our ‘leap of logic’.

“We need to incubate, launch and grow an ecosystem of new, successful and fast growing companies here in Swansea Bay. With the clarity, direction and impetus that a City Deal can provide just watch us ‘move that needle’ to a higher level of growth.”

As part of the City Region deal, the ARCH health programme is working to address the challenges we face in health and healthcare across the region. ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) is a visionary collaboration between ABMU and Hywel Dda health boards and Swansea University.

The ARCH partnership covers a population of 1 million people and aims to create a healthcare system fit for the 21st Century, drive investment and create new jobs to boost the local economy, skill up the next generation of clinicians, researchers, academics and innovators  lead the way in Life Science research and innovation and its subsequent translation and commercialisation.

ARCH chairman Professor Andrew Davies, who is also chair of ABMU Health Board and a member of the Swansea Bay City Region Board, explains how the plans will benefit the health and wellbeing of people in South West Wales.

He said: “The City Deal will accelerate the rate at which the ARCH partners can deliver an innovative and pioneering healthcare service in this region.

“ARCH is working on a regional footprint of one million people - with an effective digital infrastructure in place through the City Region Deal we will be able to really create a new model of pro-active, personalised and co-ordinated healthcare delivery, which will be seen as an exemplar in the NHS.

“Through health science innovation and research, ARCH will also be able to attract highly-qualified people and high growth businesses to South West Wales.

“With the correct technology and digital platforms in place – supported by the creation of a “digital super highway” we will be able to truly transform the way healthcare is delivered in our communities.

“These are exciting plans which will have real benefit to us all.”

For further information, images or interview requests, please contact Emma Salo at Equinox T: 02920 764100 or emma@equinox.wales

 

For further information:

Emma Bryant

ARCH Communications Manager
emma.bryant2@wales.nhs.uk
@ARCHprog
Tel: 01639 683672

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