Economic Organisations Call for £1.2 Billion Cardiff City Deal to Benefit Poorest Communities Across South East Wales

15th December 2016

A partnership of economic agencies and think tanks has set out what they expect the Growth and Competitiveness Commission for the Cardiff City Deal to address in advance of the launch of the Commission’s report on Friday 16th December. The group is calling for the City Deal to prioritise actions which spread prosperity and benefit the wider South East Wales region.

The Wales Co-operative Centre, the Bevan Foundation, the WCVA, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and the New Economics Foundation have made the call ahead of the Commission publishing its recommendations for how the Cardiff Capital Region can achieve its full growth potential and contribute most to the Welsh economy.

Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that around 23% of the population lives in poverty, with more than half of them living in households where somebody works.

- Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, Derek Walker

Over the summer and autumn, the Growth and Competitiveness Commission called for evidence and held a series of high-level meetings to hear expert opinions on how City Deal investment should be used to stimulate economic growth across the Cardiff City Region. Its report will set out the findings of this research and show how best the City Deal can be utilised to ensure economic growth across the Cardiff Capital Region.

Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, Derek Walker, said:

“The £1.2billion Cardiff City Deal presents a huge opportunity to create jobs, improve infrastructure and regenerate communities. It’s important that this opportunity benefits communities across the wider South East Wales region. Many of these areas have been particularly hard hit in recent times.”

“We need the report from the Growth and Competitiveness Commission to address some key questions. How will the plans set out for City Deal investment help our region deal with the social and economic changes predicted over the next two decades, such as increasing automation and demographic change? How will the Commission’s proposals benefit communities outside Cardiff? What will be put in place to ensure that the poorest communities gain from planned development? How will success be measured? If a measure of success is the number of jobs created, will the pay and conditions of those jobs be taken into account?”

“Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that around 23% of the population lives in poverty, with more than half of them living in households where somebody works. A City Deal which fails to prioritise the creation of decent jobs closer to home, skills development, reliable public transport links and affordable childcare, will mean that people who are already disadvantaged in the job market will be unable to access new employment opportunities.”

The Bevan Foundation has urged the Growth and Competitiveness Commission to designate key locations outside Cardiff, such as Merthyr Tydfil, as growth poles to ensure the benefits are spread and the creation of a New Enterprise Zone across the whole of the South Wales Valleys to help create decent jobs. It has also called for the Commission to promote the adoption of the ‘real’ Living Wage of £8.45 an hour.

As part of the ‘Accelerating Resilient City Economies’ programme and with funding from the Friends Provident Foundation, the Wales Co-operative Centre, the Bevan Foundation, the WCVA, the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and the New Economics Foundation are working collaboratively to support and amplify local economic practices that can deliver good economic, social and environmental outcomes for communities in South East Wales. Other organisations, including Cardiff University, are also involved.

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