Cardiff Capital Region City Deal gains momentum

The Cardiff Capital Region (“CCR”) City Deal has been given backing by all 10 local authorities of the region. So what happens next?

We have previously discussed the City Deals for Cardiff and Swansea Bay regions and its possible implications here.

The much talked-about CCR City Deal is one step closer to becoming reality. As of 9 February, the tenth and final local authority that would be involved in the scheme (Vale of Glamorgan Council) voted to support the deal. The next step for all ten councils will be to formally subscribe to the deal on 1 March 2017.

Upon the formal ratification of the deal in the beginning of March, a City Deal joint cabinet to oversee its functioning will be established from its current shadow form, and a transition phase will commence. The CCR Transition Plan, which is yet to be published, will put forward the vital activities to be carried out. These will include the establishment of a regional office which will enable the delivery of the regional cabinet’s work programme in anticipation of receiving proposals for potential projects at the end of 2017.

A £1.2 billion investment will be made over 20 years via a mixture of sources. This will include £120 million in local authority borrowing, which will be expanded to include an extra £375 million as approved by the UK Government.  The councils involved are now tied into the deal for a minimum of five years before any of them can pull out. They have also have committed to a collective contribution of £120 million. The City Deal will aim to attract £4 billion in private sector finance, as well as create 25,000 jobs over the next decade. £734 million of the budget has already been committed to the electrification of the Valley Lines, which will make up a portion of the new South Wales Metro.

Other potential projects of the CCR City Dealmay include the construction of a 15,000 person capacity indoor arena in Cardiff, the establishment of a software academy, the support of a global-first semiconductor cluster in Newport, and the creation of employment sites in the Heads of the Valleys, with a view to eventually providing the motivation to create a new road link to Cardiff Airport.

Andrew Morgan, chair of the CCR Shadow Regional Cabinet and leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council commented on the deal:

“Together, the local authority partners can bring about an economic and social step-change in the Cardiff Capital Region, through improved transport, supporting innovation, an improved digital network, developing skills, supporting enterprise and business growth, and through housing development and regeneration.”