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Hopes for City Deal approval by the end of February

Providing billions of pounds to the local economy, Wales' biggest City Deal is close to being agreed.

Swansea Beach

It's hoped the Swansea Bay City Region's 'Internet Coast' City Deal bid will be approved by the end of February, with Swansea Bay leaders soon visiting Whitehall to meet with UK Government ministers.

The meetings will follow an in-principle approval from the Welsh Government.

The region's City Deal bid is based on major investment in the region's digital infrastructure, which would revolutionise the way sectors like energy, technology, health and social care are delivered.
 
The deal, with a total value of £1.3bn, is bigger than the capital City Deal signed in Cardiff last year. It's estimated approval would deliver a £3.3bn boost to the regional economy over 15 years, generating over 9,500 new jobs.
 
At a meeting of Swansea Council's Cabinet on February 16, Councillors are being asked to approve a recommendation that the Leader and Chief Executive of the council are given delegated authority to sign an in-principle City Deal agreement.
 
If the City Deal is signed in principle, then a further report would be brought to Cabinet and Full Council in future, outlining any definitive commitments.
 
Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: "Following on from Sir Charles Hendry backing plans for a Tidal Lagoon in Swansea Bay, approval of the City Region's City Deal bid would be another game-changer for Swansea and South West Wales.
 
"Worth £1.3bn to the regional economy, the City Deal has the power to improve people's lives by opening up thousands of jobs, creating far more opportunities and generating a cutting-edge digital environment that will allow innovation and enterprise to flourish.
 
"The Swansea Bay City Region's economic productivity has fallen from 90% of the UK average to 77% over the last 30 years. The City Deal will help reverse that trend. 
 
"If it's approved, then our focus will be on aggressive delivery and spending locally to ensure local people and businesses benefit as soon as possible from the world class projects being proposed.

'I said when I became Leader that I wanted to ensure Swansea moved forward and became a dynamic city with well-paid jobs and prosperity and opportunities for everyone. I said I wanted to create strong, successful partnerships and that I would work hard to ensure Swansea got a fairer share of the money from the Cardiff and London Governments. We have been working extremely hard to achieve that over the last two years, so with the real prospect of the City Deal and Tidal Lagoon coming to Swansea, we're on the cusp of seeing the largest ever investment in this region."

The City Deal contains a number of projects in Swansea, including a new digital village on Kingsway for the city's tech businesses. A digital square and digital indoor arena on the St David's development site would also be enabled, as well as a 'box village' and innovation precinct at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David's SA1 waterfront development that would provide incubation and co-working spaces for start-up businesses. A 5G testbed would also be established, making Swansea a global leader in 5G innovation. 
 
Ensuring benefits across the City Region as a whole, major projects are also planned for Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire. 


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