Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will make his first official visit to Swansea today (Tues 29 March) to underline the UK Government’s vision for the region and to throw his weight behind the drive for a second City Deal bid for Wales.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
As the new Welsh Secretary I will be using every opportunity to champion the contribution every corner of Wales is making to the growth we are seeing in our economy.
From the businesses creating jobs, to the University that is competing with some of the world’s best institutions, the UK government understands the vital contribution the Swansea region is making to secure the success of our long-term economic plan.
Mr Cairns will meet with the Chair of Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Swansea Bay branch, Julie Williamson to discuss the commitment made by the Chancellor in his Budget to open discussions with local partners and the Welsh Government for a city deal for the Swansea region.
City Deals have signalled the start of a new approach of Government asking local leaders to set the economic growth agenda.
Mr Cairns added:
Exactly two weeks ago, the Cardiff Capital Region secured a City Deal which promises to transform the city and make it a leading engine of growth for the UK.
This government recognises the potential the Swansea Bay region has to deliver the same exciting vision.
Successful City Deals are built on big ideas to unlock growth across cities and their wider economic areas. They work best when everyone in the local area, including civic, business and higher education leaders, come together to tell Government what needs to change and what can be done better.
We are looking forward to seeing the discussions unfold and build towards creating a deal which could transform the fortunes of the entire South West Wales region.
FSB Swansea Bay branch chair Julie Williamson said:
I’m looking forward to meeting with the Secretary of State on behalf of our members in Swansea to discuss progress towards a City Deal.
The possibility of a City Deal for Swansea presents an important opportunity and I look forward to small businesses across the Swansea Bay region playing a significant role in its development.