Cardiff Capital Region establishes board members for Economic Growth Partnership

The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Economic Growth Partnership (REGP) held its first meeting last week as its new board was unveiled.

The EGP, which is chaired by founder partner at Gambit Corporate Finance, Frank Holmes, will directly advise the CCR Regional Cabinet, and is responsible for reviewing the CCR economic strategy, making recommendations with regards to how the CCR City Deal is implemented, and advise on investment decisions throughout the Cardiff Capital Region. It will also have an advocacy role, promoting the Region as a prime investment opportunity and visitor location.

The 13 board members met for the first time on 23rd January at the Life Science Hub in Cardiff Bay where they discussed the role of the EGP and addressed the economic growth strategy for the next 25 years, including the recently announced proposed investment in Metro Central.

The board consists of 13 representatives from businesses, higher education, social enterprise, employment and local government. The members are:

  • Chair – Frank Holmes – Founding Partner, Gambit Corporate Finance LLP
  • Andrew Probert – Former Finance and IT Director of Admiral Group plc
  • Andrew Cooksley – Founder and CEO of ACT Ltd
  • Kevin Gardiner – Global Investment Strategist, Rothschild Wealth Management
  • Nathan Bowles – Founder, Smart Solutions and Veezu Holdings Limited
  • David Notley – CEO, Impact Innovation & Growth Services
  • Chris Sutton – Regional Director, Jones Lang LeSalle
  • Professor Julie Lydon OBE – Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive, University of South Wales
  • Judith Evans – Principal, Coleg Cymoedd
  • Martin Mansfield – TUC
  • Cerys Furlong – Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg
  • Councillor Huw Thomas – Leader, Cardiff City Council – deputy chair.
  • Councillor Peter Fox – Leader, Monmouthshire County Council – deputy chair.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Chair of the CCR Regional Cabinet and Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “We’re very pleased to have established the Board members for the EGP for the CCR City Deal project. The EGP plays a crucial role in looking at the decisions we make, and provides a different perspective from private, public and third sector partners in assessing the effectiveness of our investment proposals, so it was important that we selected a high calibre of members to meet the requirements.

“The board members that have been selected are all well-established within their sector and have a great understanding of the region’s economy and of economic growth and policy beyond the region and Wales. We are confident that the board members will thrive in their role and make excellent recommendations for the CCR City Deal.”

Councillor Huw Thomas, the CCR’s Portfolio Co-leader on Economic Development and Leader of Cardiff Council, said: “We’re delighted to announce the Board members for the EGP. All of their experience and knowledge of working with businesses across the entire city-region will be invaluable in making sure the decisions are the best ones to help grow the Cardiff Capital Region Economy.”

Frank Holmes said: “I feel very honoured to have the opportunity to chair and work with an outstanding calibre of Board of members with experiences within the region that are unrivalled. Together, we will champion the City Region, which I believe is a deliverable challenge and a fulfilling opportunity for all involved.”

The CCR City Deal is set to unlock significant economic growth across the CCR, which includes the ten local authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Torfaen and Vale of Glamorgan.

The aims of the CCR City Deal are to create jobs and boost economic prosperity by improving productivity, tackle worklessness, build on foundations of innovation, invest in physical and digital infrastructure, provide support for business, and ensure that any economic benefits generated as a result are felt across the region.

The CCR Regional Cabinet has already agreed to invest £37.9 million to support the development of a compound semiconductor industry cluster in south-east Wales.

The funding is being generated from the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal’s Wider Investment Fund – and is the first such investment since the £1.2 billion programme was formally signed by the leaders of the ten local authorities in the region on March 1 last year.

The project is expected to leverage up to £375 million of private sector investment over the next five years, and the creation of up to 2,000 high value, high-tech jobs, with the potential for hundreds more in the wider supply chain and cluster development.