WRU's Roger Lewis leads south east Wales city region board

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Media captionRoger Lewis says the south east Wales board has a "rich mix of people who share an ambition" to benefit the region across 10 council areas

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Roger Lewis has been appointed chairman of the new south east Wales "city region" group set up to boost investment.

Economy minister Edwina Hart also confirmed Swansea council leader councillor David Phillips as the chairman of Swansea Bay City Region.

Other appointments include public and private sector specialists as well as company bosses and academics.

They have been established to focus on developing prospects across the area.

The idea is to remove boundaries that exist between council areas and organisations to allow for more joined-up thinking after an independent panel which recommended setting up the groups found city areas create a big part of the UK's economic output.

The Swansea Bay board includes Juliet Luporini, chair of Swansea Business Improvement District which represents over 800 businesses in the city centre, and Paul Greenwood, director of Llanelli-based Teddington Engineered Solutions.

Mr Lewis told BBC Wales he will be carrying out the role unpaid and in spare time from his WRU duties.

He said it would "bring people together" with the region covering 10 local authorities and the board including four council leaders and representatives from business and higher education.

Mr Lewis said: "I accepted this opportunity to chair the South East Wales City Region Board as I immediately recognised the tremendous potential for the region to make a transformational economic impact across Wales."

The role of deputy chair has been accepted by Cardiff councillor Russell Goodway, cabinet member for finance and economic development, as well as Prof Colin Riordan, vice chancellor at Cardiff University.

Emma Watkins, director of CBI Wales, said: "The creation of city regions for south west and south east Wales has huge potential to unlock local growth.

"Considering the collective needs of two major Welsh conurbations should increase efficiency and enhance the attractiveness of the regions as places to do business."

South East Wales City Region board

  • Roger Lewis Chair Chief Executive, Wales Rugby Union.
  • Cllr Russell Goodway Vice Chair Cabinet Member for Finance & Economic Development, Cardiff Council.
  • Prof Colin Reardon Vice Chair Vice Chancellor, Cardiff University.
  • David Stevens Member CEO, Admiral.
  • Matthew Hammond Member Regional chair, PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
  • Dan Langford Member Group marketing and communications director, Acorn Recruitment.
  • Ann Beynon Member Wales Director, BT.
  • Cllr Bob Wellington Member Leader Torfaen County Borough Council.
  • Cllr Brendan Toomey Member Leader Merthyr Tydfil Council.
  • Cllr Peter Fox Member Leader Monmouthshire County Council.
  • Cllr Bob Bright Member Leader Newport City Council.
  • Prof Julie Lydon Member Vice Chancellor, University of South Wales.
  • Prof Brian Morgan Member Professor of entrepreneurship & director,creative leadership and enterprise, Cardiff Metropolitan University.
  • John Phillips Member regional secretary, GMB Union.

Swansea Bay City Region board

  • Cllr David Phillips Chair Leader of Swansea Council.
  • Cllr Meryl Gravell Vice Chair Executive board member for regeneration and leisure, of Carmarthenshire County Council.
  • Cllr David Pugh Member Pembrokeshire Council cabinet spokesperson for economy.
  • Steve Penny Vice Chair Partner and chairman of JCP Solicitors.
  • Juliet Luporini Member Chair of Swansea Business Improvement District which represents over 800 city centre businesses.
  • Rosemary Morgan Member Director of commercial law practice Morgan La Roche.
  • Paul Greenwood Member Director of Llanelli-based Teddington Engineered Solutions.
  • Nick Revell Member Managing director at Ledwood Mechanical Engineering.
  • Mark Bowen Member Managing director of construction and civil engineering firm Andrew Scott Ltd.
  • Keith Baker Member Co-founder of Pure Wafer.
  • Andrew Evans Member Chair of South West Wales Regional Tourism Partnership and owner of St Brides Hotel.
  • Prof Richard Davies Member Vice Chancellor, Swansea University.
  • Barry Liles Member Principal, Coleg Sir Gar.
  • Andy Richards Member Regional secretary of Unite Wales.

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