Cardiff Capital Region Growth and Competitiveness Commission Launched

International city-region expert Professor Greg Clark

An independent city region commission has been appointed to lead the development of the Cardiff Capital Growth and Competitiveness Commission as part of the £1.2bn City Deal agreement.

The appointed commissioners will analyse and evaluate the expert argument that will be devised by both Cardiff University and the Centre for Cities, and then make its independent recommendations for the future economic strategy for the region.

The appointed commissioners include Alexandra Jones – Chief Executive of Centre for Cities; Kevin Gardiner – Global Investment Strategist at Rothschild and Helen Molyneux – Chief Executive Officer, New Law. The Commission will be chaired by international city-region expert Professor Greg Clark, and additional Commissioners will also be appointed over forthcoming weeks.

Professor Clark is an international city region expert, and advisor to a number of cities both in the UK and abroad, including, Auckland, San Diego, London, Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast.

When asked about the recent appointment, Prof Clark, said: “I am delighted to accept this appointment so we can reach an agreement about the long term path for the Cardiff City Region’s economy. In the short term, the Cardiff City Region needs to make sure they make wise investments and the commission will ensure that there is robust analysis and a clear set of proposals resulting from this assessment, at a time when the City Region continues to grow and continues to receive more devolved powers.”

Prof Clark and his team will gather evidence from community leaders, business and stakeholders before producing a report on how best the City Deal can be utilised to ensure economic growth across the Cardiff Capital Region.

Leading members from the business and education communities and the leaders and chief executives of the 10 local authorities involved in the City Deal attended an event launch at the Red House in Merthyr Tydfil on Tuesday, June 28.

Leader of the City of Cardiff Council, Phil Bale, said: “The City Deal can act as the springboard to secure a better future for everyone in South Wales. We have a real opportunity to reshape the way we do business, breaking down barriers, working across sectors to deliver for the people of Wales.

“The Commission will now begin engaging with citizens, communities and business. We want and need this to be a two-way process, we need feedback and input from business leaders, the business community and the education sector to ensure we make the right decisions around the City Deal.”

The Commission will be jointly established by the ten local authorities that comprise the Cardiff Capital Region and will examine the challenges and opportunities for economic growth and competitiveness and make recommendations for how the Cardiff Capital Region can achieve its full growth potential.

As outlined in the City Deal document the Commission’s remit will be to:

·     Review the evidence about the functional economic area and advise how best to generate Gross Value Added growth and support the ambitions of a dynamic capital region in a successful Welsh Economy.

·     Examine the challenges and opportunities for economic growth and competitiveness and make recommendations for how the Cardiff Capital Region can achieve its full growth potential, and contribute most to the Welsh economy.

Over the summer and autumn the Commission will work to deliver:

·     A dedicated research programme to deliver a detailed economic analysis of the city-region

·     A public call for evidence

·     A series of high-level public seminars/hearings and private roundtables.

This will then lead to:

·     Providing guidance for project development, outlining a strategy for investment and project criteria

·     Providing ideas and details for potential regionally significant investment proposals

·     Recommendations for the future development of a more competitive city-region

The findings will be concluded and announced at a conference in the Autumn.