The Mid Wales Growth Deal has passed a significant milestone with the approval of the draft Portfolio Business Case to be submitted to UK and Welsh Governments.
The Growing Mid Wales Board today (September 21) approved the portfolio business case to be submitted to both UK and Welsh Governments to consider and review. The decision signals a key point in the Growth Deal's development, that subject to Government approval - will enable the focus to shift to developing the Programme and Project Business Cases.
The Portfolio Business Case provides a framework for the growth deal and an initial set of programmes and projects which can be developed and considered further as the work progresses. Current proposals include the intention to bring forward formal programmes for digital connectivity, sites and premises - and a range of early project proposals to develop the region's economic infrastructure.
The Leader of Powys County Council, Cllr Rosemarie Harris said: "We have passed a very significant milestone and now look forward to working with both Governments and implement the recommendations to start paving the way for delivering millions of pounds of investment, creating jobs and delivering a major boost to our region's economy."
The Leader of Ceredigion, Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn said: "Approving the Portfolio Business Case is a vital step in the Growth Deal's development - and it signals the end of the first chapter, before we can bring forward the development programmes and projects in earnest. It is critical that we work together across the public, private and third sectors now to fully realise the potential of the Deal."
Both Leaders added: "The Growing Mid Wales Board and our private sector partners will be continually reviewing the Portfolio, to ensure that it is delivering the best possible outcomes for the people and business of the region. Whilst we are currently proceeding with a set of initial proposals - we want to stress that the Portfolio allows for new opportunities to come forward. We will be working closely with our private sector partners to leverage the full potential of the Deal for our region and catalyse new investment opportunities. As such, our door is always open to encourage good ideas and good to come forward for consideration. As a region, we are embarking on a long journey together and there will be significant work to do ahead in the coming months and years. However, we are now confidently starting that journey in earnest - and look forward to seeing the Growth Deal move from development to delivery."
Developed from the Vision for Growing Mid Wales, the current proposal for the Mid Wales Growth Deal has a potential to generate capital investment of between £280 and £400million over the next 10-15 years, generating a projected estimate of up to 1,100 jobs and a range of £570-700m Gross Value Added to the regional economy over time. It will play a vital role in unlocking and attracting further investment from the public and private sectors.
In December 2020, both UK and Welsh Governments committed to invest £55 million each after they signed Heads of Terms Agreement with the region's two local authorities.
Wales Office Minister, David TC Davies, said "The UK Government is delighted to be investing in the Mid Wales Growth Deal, which has the potential to transform the regional economy, creating jobs and prosperity for the future. We're starting that exciting journey today and I'm looking forward to working with our partners to deliver this ambitious plan."
Welsh Government Minister for Economy Vaughan Gething said: "The Welsh Government remains committed to supporting the Growth Deal in Mid Wales and we look forward to receiving the proposal following consideration by the Joint Committee. The Growth Deal has an important part to play in Covid recovery and in helping to promote a greener, more equal and more prosperous economy in Mid Wales."