WORTH over £190 million, two major projects in South West Wales have moved a step closer to approval.
After an independent review found their business cases to be fit for purpose, the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee has now authorised the re-submission of the ‘Yr Egin’ and Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District projects to the UK and Welsh Governments for sign-off.
Immediate approval for both projects is among the recommendations of the independent review, which was commissioned by both governments. An internal review has also been completed to ensure swift delivery of the City Deal investment programme, which will give the regional economy a £1.8 billion boost and create over 9,000 high-quality jobs in coming years.
Accepting all recommendations, Joint Committee has now requested work on their development and implementation as soon as possible.
Other recommendations include the appointment of an independent City Deal programme director, along with flexibility in the City Deal to allow some projects to be potentially replaced by others in future.
At Joint Committee, it was stressed that no City Deal projects are on hold. This includes the Life Science and Well-being Village.
Carmarthenshire County Council has continued to work on an alternative delivery model for this project, which will be re-submitted to Joint Committee for approval in due course.
Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the City Deal’s Joint Committee, said: “We welcome the reviews and the continued support of both governments for the City Deal.
“Although a great deal of progress has been made since the City Deal was first signed, the reviews reflect that we’re still in the very early stages of the City Deal’s delivery.
“With all partners remaining committed to the City Deal, work will now take place to explore how each recommendation can be implemented as soon as possible.
“Since the reviews were published, meetings have already been held with UK and Welsh Government officials as we look to secure approvals for the ‘Yr Egin’ and Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District projects in coming weeks.
“This will start the ball rolling for an investment programme that will transform people’s lives in South West Wales by generating well-paid jobs, improving skills and boosting economic prosperity.”
Detailed work on all other City Deal projects will now continue as efforts to secure business case approvals from both governments gather pace.
The Swansea Bay City Deal is led by the four regional councils in partnership with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea University, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.