The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Economic Growth Partnership welcomes Welsh Government’s announcement to double its Foundational Economy Challenge Fund to £3 million. The decision aligns with CCR City Deal’s mission to create a more prosperous and economically inclusive region.
Earlier this year, Frank Holmes, Chair of the Regional Economic Growth Partnership (REGP), unveiled the region’s Economic and Industrial Growth plan together with leaders from the Joint Cabinet in South East Wales, London and MIPIM in France. It incorporates an Investment Framework comprising three priorities; innovation, infrastructure and challenge, aimed at improving GVA performance, creating new jobs and leveraging up to £4bn of investment.
Mr. Holmes said: “It’s encouraging to see this decision made by the Welsh Government shortly after the launch of our Economic and Industrial Growth Plan. The CCR City Deal is a catalyst programme for long-term, inclusive and sustainable economic growth embracing innovation and competitiveness, building on our industrial and educational strengths and addressing the challenges identified by the UK Industrial Strategy. For the Welsh Government to acknowledge and adopt this approach in the context of the Foundation Economy for the whole of Wales, is a promising initiative.
“The challenge priority responds to the future socio-economic disruptors known today, including artificial intelligence, aging population, clean growth and the future of mobility, whilst challenge investments also seek to attract the best solutions for specific underlying issues faced by the region, these may be in the commercial domain but also persist in the strongly inclusive Foundation Economy. We are working directly with Nesta to develop an R+D platform to ensure the fund is genuinely challenge-focused and creates a solid project pipeline.
“Collaboration between UK, Welsh and Local Government on policy and investment is a fundamental pillar of the Industrial and Economic Growth plan. The REGP have a genuine interest in the Foundation Economy which also needs to improve its productivity, embrace innovation and create sustainable business models. However, in order to prosper, we need to invest in ‘scalable projects’ that will have a lasting impact, attract additional finance and ensure the City Deal investments are ever-green, so future generations can continue to reap the benefits long after these funds are deployed.