Leaders of Powys and Ceredigion County Councils in their roles as joint chairs of the Growing Mid Wales Joint Committee met with David TC Davies MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the UK Government in Wales, and Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy to discuss the Growth Deal for Mid Wales and deliver the next important step.
Following the approval of the Growth Deal Portfolio Business Case at the Growing Mid Wales Joint Committee on 21 September, both Ceredigion County Council and Powys County Council's cabinet members also went on to unanimously endorse the business case for formal submission to Governments.
The purpose of the Portfolio Business Case is to provide an overview of the scope, function and arrangements for the Mid Wales Growth Deal Portfolio - on the basis of an initial set of Programme and Project proposals, that can now be brought forward.
The Portfolio Business Case sets out the headline figures for capital expenditure that the Local Authorities are seeking from both the UK and Welsh Government via the Mid Wales Growth Deal, amounting to a total capital grant of £110m.
Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council and joint chair of the Growing Mid Wales Board: "Approval of the business case will enable us to draw down funding to support projects in the area that will boost the local economy and support job creation. We're really getting the ball rolling now in the development of the deal which is so important for the region."
The Portfolio Business Case will now be formally reviewed through the Accounting Officer Review on behalf of the Welsh Cities and Growth Deals Implementation Board (WCGIB) - the Joint Board between UK and Welsh Governments that govern Welsh City and Growth Deals. It will then go on to underpin the Final Deal Agreement between the region and both Governments - which the ambition remains to conclude before the end of the year.
Leader of Powys County Council, Councillor Rosemarie Harris said: "Being able to discuss the business case in detail and share the vision with David TC Davies and Vaughan Gething is a very big step forward for us and we very much value their interest. A lot of work has gone into the development of these documents to this stage - and there is lot to do yet."
Both Leaders added: "We are pleased to have reached this point, and we hope we can conclude the Deal before the end of the year so that we can work with our businesses and communities to bring forward projects in earnest next year."
Minister for the UK Government, David TC Davies, said "It's great to hear more detail of the ambitious plans for the Mid Wales Growth Deal and take this next step towards achieving our goals. The support of the UK Government, working with our partners, means that we can deliver real improvements for the people of Mid Wales"
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: "The Welsh Government is fully committed to working with partners to progress the Growth Deal for Mid Wales, so I'm pleased we are now a step closer to a Full Deal Agreement being jointly agreed. I am now keen to see the Deal being implemented, so that local people, businesses and communities start to see investments being made in projects and programmes which will help deliver tangible and significant benefits to the Mid Wales economy.
"As we move ahead with the recovery and reconstruction work arising from the Covid pandemic, we have ambitious plans for Mid Wales, which we are taking forward with our partners in a spirit of collaboration. The Growth Deal is a component part of our plans to create new jobs and opportunities in local communities, which will help us deliver a greener, fairer and more prosperous Mid Wales."