ON 18th September, at a regional partnership meeting aimed at promoting and representing the region’s priorities for economic development, the renewed vision for economic growth in Mid Wales was discussed. The Growing Mid Wales Partnership reviewed key milestones to date and considered where the regional approach to economic development needed to be adapted further to reflect a number of challenges.
Members including representatives from Powys and Ceredigion County Councils, as well as private sector business, regional HE and FE leaders, and UK and Welsh Government representatives, heard about the current economic challenges facing each region and received updates on the delivery of key regional funding programmes such as the Mid Wales Growth Deal, the Mid Wales Regional Skills Partnership and the UK Government Shared Prosperity Fund.
The discussion focused on plans to update current strategies in order to ensure the region is best placed to take advantage of future opportunities.
In May 2020, a strategic economic plan, ‘A Vision for Growing Mid Wales’, set out a collective ambition and the economic potential for Mid Wales. Since then, major events such as Covid-19, and challenges such as the Cost-of-Living crisis have caused the region’s economic context to fundamentally change. An update to the Vision document will reflect these and consider the greater challenges they pose in developing the regional economy of Mid Wales.
As representatives of the Growing Mid Wales Partnership, Councillor Bryan Davies, Leader of Ceredigion County Council and Councillor James Gibson-Watt, Leader of Powys County Council, jointly said: “There is a lot of progress to date with the work the Partnership has been involved with and it’s testament to the great engagement and cross-sector partnership collaboration that’s been happening since 2015.
“We reflected on the legacy of the EU-funding which supported growth and jobs for people, businesses and communities in Mid Wales. We also looked at the present where, the Mid Wales Growth Deal is moving a step closer into delivery. Also, 81 projects in the region have been approved funding so far, totalling £15million of the region’s allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We’re positive that despite there being many challenges, the region’s economic development is advancing.”
“To ensure the good work is continued and the potential for transformational change in the Mid Wales economy is realised, further sustained investment will be needed over the coming years.”
The Growing Mid Wales Partnership is the cross-sector strategic economic advisory forum for the Mid Wales region, consisting of members from the public, private and third sectors.
The Growing Mid Wales Partnership was supported at the event by the Mid Wales Regional Engagement Team, which are part-funded by European Structural and Investment Funds through the Welsh Government.
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