South East Wales

Cardiff and Bristol in early talks to work more closely

Cardiff and Bristol composite image Image copyright David Dixon/BBC
Image caption Cardiff and Bristol will be joining forces to help promote their respective areas

Cardiff and Bristol are to work more closely to help compete for future investment, BBC Wales understands.

Cardiff council has confirmed it is in early talks with the mayor of Bristol to work together on projects, including renewable energy and transport.

Council leader Phil Bale said Cardiff would fall behind if it does not work with a major centre like Bristol.

He said both cities have to recognise they are in competition with other major centres in England.

Mr Bale stressed that by working together the two cities have a much better chance of lobbying the UK government for investment.

However, he denied that the council was turning its back on Welsh devolution or suggesting that developing an economic Cardiff city region covering south east Wales is out of date.

Mr Bale said he believes that different levels of governance are right for different things.

In regards to marketing and transport in Cardiff and Bristol, the councillor said the two cities need to lobby for investment to head west out of London.

"It's really important that we have those conversations (with Bristol) to see where they lead us, but also that we exploit opportunities like the Severn estuary, where there is clear shared opportunity to lobby the UK government."

Asked about the likelihood of there one day being a "super city region" combining Cardiff, Newport and Bristol, the councillor said the idea was a possibility.

"It's clearly early discussions but there's a real potential for us to explore that in more detail," he said.

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