Wales politics

Cardiff city deal: Treasury urged to match Wales' cash

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Media captionCouncillor Andrew Morgan, leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council, said there should be a fair share of projects in each area

The Welsh government has challenged the Treasury to match nearly £600m it has pledged for economic development and transport projects in south east Wales.

A formal Cardiff "city deal" submission was made ahead of the chancellor's spending review on 25 November.

The document was signed by the leaders of 10 local councils across the region.

Welsh ministers have pledged £580m and the councils £120m, while £580m from the Treasury would make for a deal worth nearly £1.3bn.

No specific projects have been identified yet, but it is expected to include better bus and train services as part of a Metro scheme.

It could also include projects covering regeneration and improving skills, road improvements and better broadband connections.

Officials from the councils, the Welsh government and the UK government will seek to identify schemes over the next few months, if the Treasury agrees to the match-funding request.

Image copyright Metro
Image caption The latest map of how the Metro could look

A spokesman for the Welsh government said the deal was "focused on connectivity, business support, skills and innovation" and would be "a significant step forward for regional collaboration and economic growth".

"Transport infrastructure will play a key role in this, which is why we have focused our contribution in this area," the spokesman said.

"We look forward to an early and positive response from the Treasury to enable the vision to become a reality."

Cardiff council leader Phil Bale said: "The partners welcome this positive step by Welsh government, and hope the UK government will in turn match this contribution.

"We are at an early stage of the process, but the submission has been made to try and ensure we get a commitment in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review which will then lead to further negotiations."

Analysis by Nick Servini, BBC Wales political editor

City deals have become a particular favourite of George Osborne, as he looks to fund major infrastructure around the UK.

This is a way for Wales to get in on the act. The big prize here is to pull in more than half a billion pounds of extra funding.

All eyes will now be on the chancellor. The timing is clear: to pile on the pressure ahead of his spending review.

In its favour, a city deal has the big benefit of at least being a Conservative concept, even if it has been taken up by nine Labour run councils and a Labour-run Welsh government.

There are all sorts of unanswered questions, such as how the projects will be selected, but none of this will get off the ground unless there's buy in from the Treasury.

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