More than 20 heads of councils, business organisations and major employers have met with Wales Office Ministers to push forward the agenda for a growth deal in North Wales.
Chaired by Alun Cairns and Guto Bebb, the round table at Glyndwr University in St Asaph was designed to explore what the region wants to develop as a distinct economy.
Those invited included senior councillors from local authorities in North Wales, Cheshire and Wirral together with business organisations like the CBI, Institute of Directors and the Federation of Small Businesses. Representatives from Toyota and Airbus are due to attend together with the heads of universities in North Wales.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said:
We have the fastest growing economy in the developed world and Wales is growing faster than any part of the UK outside London. I want North Wales to come up with proposals to ensure the region shares in that growth
This meeting was an opportunity to hear from local leaders and to see how we can maximise the benefits of being part of a Northern Powerhouse region that stretches from Newcastle to North Wales.
The Northern Powerhouse is a key part of the Government’s long term plan to rebalance the economy away from its traditional reliance on London and the South East of England, and North Wales has a key role to play in that.
The government announced in the Budget that it was ‘opening the door’ to a growth deal for North Wales during the Budget and that it would be looking to the next Welsh Government to devolve powers down and invest in the region as part of any future deal.
Image of Menai Bridge courtesy of Terence Hill on Flickr