Cardiff Capital Region appoints board members for Business Council

Neil Brierley

The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) has announced the appointment of its Business Council’s board.

The Business Council, which is chaired by Neil Brierley, is responsible for engaging with all businesses and articulating their needs, providing a strong voice for business to guide both the design and delivery of significant economic development and regeneration activities across the South-East Wales region.

The Members, either elected to serve the bodies that they represent, or appointed against a key set of skills, are:

  • Chair – Neil Brierley – Operations Director for Wales and South West, Faithful+Gould
  • Ann Beynon – Senior Advisor on Welsh Affairs, Severn Trent Water; representing the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • Katy Chamberlain – Chief Executive, Business in Focus
  • Huw Lewis, Finance Director and Company Secretary, Cardiff Airport
  • Heather Myers – Director, South Wales Chamber of Commerce
  • Jo Rees – Lawyer and Partner, Blake Morgan
  • Grant Santos – CEO, Educ8 Group; representing the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
  • Richard Selby – Co-Founder, Pro Steel Engineering
  • Paul Webber – Director, Arup
  • Karen Wenborn – Head of Retention and Sales Cardiff, SSE Plc
  • Huw Williams – Deputy Vice Chancellor Strategic Resources, University of South Wales

The role of the Business Council board members is to drive the business of the Council, identify key areas of intervention, support the CCR Economic Growth Partnership in the delivery of its strategic plan, provide comprehensive advice, challenge and scrutiny, and ensure that business has a strong voice.

The Business Council board may also delegate activities to task and finish groups as appropriate. These groups would work in a collegiate manner, utilising people with the appropriate skills to address issues as they arise.

As Chair of the board, Neil Brierley will lead the Council, chair board meetings, collate the views of stakeholders, and communicate and represent their recommendations to the CCR Regional Cabinet of the 10 local authority leaders in the region.

He said: “I am delighted to be chairing the Cardiff Capital Region Business Council. The Business Council will play a pivotal role in shaping the development and continued prosperity of the region, helping to ensure that the business community has a strong voice that is heard by the Regional Leaders and the Capital Region Cabinet.”

“The Members of the Business Council board are drawn from across the entire region, and encompass a broad range of business backgrounds and sectors, including representatives from the FSB, IoD, CBI, and South Wales Chamber. This breadth of knowledge, skills and expertise will deliver a strong business voice to guide both the design and delivery of significant economic development and regeneration activities across the region.”

Councillor Peter Fox, Leader of Monmouthshire County Council and City Deal Portfolio Lead on Innovation, Digital & Business, said: “We are very pleased to have appointed the board members for the Business Council. Their guidance is key to the success of the CCR City Deal project, so it was crucial to select well-established members of our business community whose daily activities expose them to genuine commercial issues and market trends.

“We are confident that the Business Council board members will thrive in their new role, thanks to their combined expertise in various sectors, and deep understanding of the economy and policy in the city-region and beyond.”

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.