Published: Thursday, 17th March 2016
Wales’ first City Deal, aimed at boosting the economic competitiveness of the so-called Cardiff City Region (CCR) was confirmed this week.
At the heart of the £1.2bn agreement, announced on Tuesday, are ambitious proposals to improve public transport via the South Wales Metro project, a scheme which includes Valley Lines electrification.
Equally crucial, the Welsh Government and the Cardiff Capital Region councils have committed to a new partnership approach to housing development and regeneration. This is designed to ensure the delivery of sustainable communities, through the use and re-use of property and sites.
The ten local authorities involved in CCR, Cardiff, The Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Newport, have agreed to contribute £120m to a 20-year investment fund. The UK and Welsh Governments are each providing £500m.
The local authorities have also signed up to the creation of a Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet, a non-statutory Regional Transport Authority, a Cardiff Capital Region Skills and Employment Board and a Cardiff Capital Region Business Organisation.
National and local politicians claimed the deal would create up to 25,000 jobs and leverage £4bn of private sector investment.
As part of this City Deal, the Welsh Government will explore with the Cardiff Capital Region councils the devolution of business rate income above an agreed growth baseline and the ability to levy an infrastructure supplement.