Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy
Today I am pleased to publish Regional Economic Frameworks for each of the four regions of Wales.
The development of the Regional Economic Frameworks is an essential part of our commitment to a more focussed model of economic development - developing the distinctive strengths of our regions, supporting inclusive and sustainable economic growth and maximising opportunities to address national, regional and local inequalities, contributing to the Well-being Goals for Wales.
These strategic documents are intended as a vehicle to help promote collaborative planning and delivery amongst public, private and third sector partners, working to a shared vision and a set of common economic development objectives. In taking forward their development we have been acutely aware of the immediate reset and recovery required in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and the impact of the UK leaving the European Union, but also the need to set out the longer term aspirations to deliver a greener, fairer and more prosperous Wales for the benefit of all regions, communities and individuals.
We have worked with our partners in each of the regions to shape these Framework documents. Closer working relationships have been fostered with partners, including the Local Authorities and associated regional bodies, to co-design a placed-based approach to economic development. I am grateful to all for their input and to the local authorities particularly for their on- going support. Working together, in partnership, will be key also to ensure effective implementation and delivery against the priorities outlined in each Framework document. We remain committed to doing so for the benefit of each region. As such these Regional Economic Frameworks, recognise the slightly different stage of development with each document:
- Mid Wales – the Regional Economic Framework aligns well with the work undertaken to inform the emerging Growth Deal in the region. It has been informed by extensive engagement with stakeholders and supported by the two local authorities, with formal endorsement anticipated in the New Year.
- South West Wales –the document aligns well with further detailed work underway in the region to define and agree the related regional economic development plan and where both documents aim to be formally endorsed in parallel by the local authorities in the New Year.
- North Wales – The Framework has been informed by extensive engagement with stakeholders and has been fully endorsed for publication by the Economic Ambition Board. Further and final consideration, by the individual Local Authorities and other partners, will continue into January.
- South East Wales – The Cardiff Capital Region’s Cabinet has endorsed the REF in its draft form for publication. It is likely that additional amendments will be required before we are able to publish it in its final form
These Frameworks however must be agile to ensure they remain relevant and responsive to changing economic circumstances and new opportunities. They will play a key role in delivering our Programme for Government commitment of progressing our Economic Recovery & Resilience Mission and should inform our collective efforts.
We remain committed to working in partnership with partners and stakeholders to deliver against the vision and priorities set out in each of these documents: the opportunities and challenges require our combined efforts if we are to deliver effectively against our collective ambitions.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.