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Jeremy Miles MS, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy and Welsh Language

First published:
16 April 2024
Last updated:

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been working with the Welsh Government, local authorities, and partners to integrate international best practice into post-Brexit regional development in Wales.

In 2020 the OECD published their report, The Future of Regional Development and Public Investment in Wales, United Kingdom. This report was the product of two years of work with the Welsh Government on strategic planning and public investment practices for regional development. The OECD work informed the development of the Welsh Government’s Framework for Regional Investment in Wales. This framework set out the model to be used for replacement EU funds in Wales, co-produced with partners across Wales, had the UK Government not bypassed the Welsh Government entirely through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Welsh Government’s recent project with the OECD, Strengthening strategic and administrative capacity for delivering regional development policy, has now come to an end. It focused on implementing some of the recommendations from the 2020 report to further explore multi-level governance and public investment themes that arose in the 2020 report. 

It aimed to support the Welsh Government, Corporate Joint Committees (CJCs), and local authorities in Wales to articulate a vision for regional development in Wales, build a stronger partnership with subnational (regional and local) bodies, and reinforce regional and local policy and service delivery. 

This work has been made even more important by the challenging post-Brexit investment landscape and financial pressures we are experiencing in Wales.

Since 2019 the UK Government has taken powers to carry out regional investment in Wales, centralising funding and decision-making previously held by the Welsh Government and under the scrutiny of the Senedd. This has created additional layers, duplication of provision, and a fragmented and confusing investment landscape. The UK Government approach has resulted in poor value for money and has made it difficult to plan and execute policy with regional-level impact. 

The Welsh Government welcomes the OECD’s synthesis report and is grateful to the participation and efforts of the CJCs, local authorities and Welsh delivery partners in the OECD’s work to gain the best value from the OECD’s expertise and integrate international best practice into regional development in Wales.

The Welsh Government remains committed to a strategic approach to regional development and we will build the findings from the OECD into our future work in this area. Our ability to work closely with CJCs, local authorities and Welsh delivery partners will help us achieve shared objectives and priorities and channel investment more effectively for the benefit of Wales, our regions and communities.

A copy of the OECD synthesis report is available here.