UK Government opens the door for a mid-Wales growth deal

Guto Bebb: A mid-Wales growth deal would be the catalyst to revolutionise the way our towns and villages govern themselves

UK Government Minister Guto Bebb will visit Llandrindod Wells today to help open the door to a mid-Wales growth deal

He will meet leading local authority figures, business people and representatives from the agricultural sector to encourage businesses to play a role in helping to grow the Mid Wales economy.

During the visit the Minister will say that the mid-Wales economy has tremendous potential for growth.

He will say that now is a key time for businesses and local authorities to come together and work with the UK and Welsh Governments to build a mid-Wales engine that can create jobs and opportunities across the region.

From research expertise at Aberystwyth University to global success stories such as Nidec Control Techniques, the region already has much in the way of innovation, skills and technology.

The Minister will say that the UK Government wants to work with companies and groups on the ground as they develop a bespoke deal that works for the whole of mid-Wales.

Last week the UK Government announced it would welcome proposals for a mid-Wales growth deal, as part of the Budget.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Guto Bebb said:

A mid-Wales growth deal would be the catalyst to revolutionise the way our towns and villages in mid-Wales govern themselves - shifting powers down from London and Cardiff to local leaders who are better placed to take decisions that affect their communities.

The development of a Midlands Engine across the border offers a unique chance to partner and develop a growth corridor stretching all the way from Aberystwyth to the Midlands.

With the launch of our Industrial Strategy, which includes opportunities for a growth deal for mid-Wales, there has never been a better time for businesses, local authorities and the agriculture sector to seize the opportunity to come together and build a strong vision for mid-Wales.

Powys County Council Leader Rosemarie Harris said:

Growth deals have the potential to re-shape the economic development of a region so I welcome the commitment for a growth deal for mid-Wales.

Any growth deal for mid-Wales could improve the transport infrastructure, digital connectivity and help to develop new job opportunities for the region. This would be of huge benefit to Powys and to Wales as a whole. We want to develop a thriving economy in Powys and a growth deal for Mid Wales will help us to achieve that.

Rebecca Williams, Director for Wales, Country Land and Business Association added:

We are pleased to welcome the Minister to the CLA meeting to hear his ideas on a mid-Wales growth deal. It is essential that this region is not left behind in terms of economic growth and the value and importance of the rural economy in this region is recognised and supported.

ENDS