Ahead of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury’s announcements on infrastructure commitments later today, Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones will launch the first high-level Wales Office Infrastructure Working Group in Cardiff (27 June 2013).
Senior officials from Welsh industry, the UK Treasury and the Welsh Government will join the Secretary of State and Wales Office Minister, Stephen Crabb MP, to explore the key priorities for infrastructure development with a view to boosting the Welsh economy.
Wales’ key infrastructure and connectivity challenges will be the focal point of discussions amongst the group, and Wales Office ministers will underline how the UK Government is prioritising investment in infrastructure to deliver a stronger economy.
Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones said:
Sound infrastructure is the thread that ties our prosperity together, affecting the competitiveness of every business in the country.
As such, it is not enough just to keep the existing infrastructure going. We need to build the new infrastructure we need for the future, preparing Wales, and Britain as a whole, for long-term success.
From bringing forward super-fast broadband to investing in our rail infrastructure, it is an issue the UK Government has been focussed upon from the start. I now want to hear from businesses on the ground about what more we, and the Welsh Government, can do together to break down the barriers to further infrastructure development in Wales, and succeed in the global race.
During the first meeting of the working group, the delegates will hear from Louise Minford from Infrastructure UK, a group of private sector commercial experts based within HM Treasury responsible for coordinating the planning and prioritisation of investment in UK infrastructure.
Ms Minford will outline the opportunities for businesses to capitalise on the £40bn of guarantees available to support infrastructure projects under the UK Government’s UK Guarantees scheme.
The group will also hear about the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan which sets out the Welsh Government’s infrastructure priorities for the next ten years.
Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb MP, who will chair the first meeting said:
Good Government is about building for tomorrow. If we want a successful economy in the 21st century, then we must build an infrastructure network that is fit for purpose.
There is an urgent need to invest in our national infrastructure and a need for a discussion on the options available on how to fund that infrastructure development. I’m looking forward to hearing what Welsh businesses think so the issues that matter can be fed back to the Secretary of State and his colleagues around the Cabinet table.
‘Photo courtesy of Ceylon on Flickr’