Growing Mid Wales Trade Delegation
On 31st January, 2019, the Leaders of both Powys County Council and Ceredigion County Council visited the Senedd as part of the Growing Mid Wales Trade Delegation. The event was sponsored by Assembly Members in the Mid Wales region including Russell George, Kirsty Williams, and Elin Jones.
The main purpose of the event was to raise awareness of the Mid Wales region, to support the Welsh Government initiative to develop the Growing Mid Wales Partnership and the framework for action to grow productivity, innovation and jobs across Mid Wales. It was also an opportunity to state the need for a Growth Deal in Mid Wales and promote the region’s wider economic ambitions.
The event showcased what is unique to Mid Wales and featured an exhibition of industries from across the region. It demonstrated the broad support for growing prosperity amongst our businesses and the need for significant economic investment. The event was also a great opportunity for businesses to network and engage with key decision makers.
Over the lunchtime the Assembly Members and Council Leaders gave an address to the event. Russell George, AM for Montgomeryshire opened the proceedings and welcomed the trade delegation followed by speeches from the Leader of Powys County Council, Cllr Rosemarie Harris and the Leader of Ceredigion County Council, Cllr Ellen ap Gwyn.
Cllr Rosemarie Harris stressed the importance of retaining young people in the region with accessible housing and good quality jobs saying;
“We need to provide high quality skills that match employer’s needs. The region needs to be innovative in the future and work in a transformational way. With a Growth Deal we can really drive the economy forward.”
Cllr Harris also emphasised that with a Growth Deal the region is strategically well placed to connect into the economic areas of South Wales and North Wales and also the key industrial areas in the Marches, Midlands, and North West of England.
Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn highlighted the challenges ahead for a Growth Deal particularly for bringing forward the first stage of the regions business case for submission in October 2019 saying;
“We need partners to help bring the business case together. Our ambition is high.”
Cllr ap Gwynn pointed out the region’s particular strengths particularly with well-established agriculture, food sector industries, tourism, and universities. But added that innovation and technology will be very important for the region with new research facilities being developed at Aberystwyth University and the development of radio spectrum research.
Following the Leaders speeches the Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates AM gave an address to the event. The Minister emphasised that the Mid Wales Growth Deal will be hugely important to the economy of Mid Wales and called upon everyone to contribute to the development of the deal. He emphasised the need for the deal to be transformational for the region, private sector led, ambitious, and deliverable.
The Minister was followed by Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion who gave the closing remarks and thanks to all those supporting the event and the Growing Mid Wales Partnership.
The event was also supported by Mid Wales based business support organisations including the Development Bank of Wales, Business Wales, Visit Wales, The Federation of Small Business and Mid Wales Manufacturing Group.
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