South West Wales

Swansea Bay City Region deal backed by councillors

Swansea city centre and marina Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Swansea city centre and marina

A £1.3bn 'city deal' investment plan for south west Wales has been backed by Swansea councillors.

The Swansea Bay City Region would boost digital technology for advances in areas such as healthcare and energy.

Councillors heard the plan will deliver an estimated £3.3bn boost to the regional economy as they supported the deal on Thursday.

It has been described as a "game-changer" after the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon proposal was backed by a review.

Council executives in Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire are also due to rubberstamp the plan and they hope the UK Government will approve the bid by the end of February.

'Exciting'

It is estimated the city deal, which has been analysed by Swansea University, could potentially create as many as 33,000 jobs over two decades.

A total of £241m would come from the Welsh and UK governments, £360m from other public bodies - the councils, higher education and the European Union - and £673m from private firms.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea council leader, said if the bid was approved, it would be benefit residents "from St David's to Pontrhydyfen."

He added: "In Swansea, approval would lead to many exciting developments, including a digital village on Kingsway for tech businesses and a digital indoor arena on the St David's development site."

The plan would also create a 5G wireless broadband testbed in the city.

As well as the four Swansea Bay City Region local authorities, other local organisations are behind the bid including Swansea University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

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