The Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council has approved plans for the creation of a new post-pandemic Economic Task Force.
Designed to help the local economy recover following several months of Covid-19 lockdown and deliver long–term benefits, the plans are based on the Welsh Government’s ‘Unlocking Our Society And Economy’ framework and are firmly focused on the core themes of business and the economy, transport, digitalisation and the public realm and natural environment.
With significant input from the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, they set out structured options for helping the county borough emerge from the current restrictions, with a new economic engagement programme and a specific ring-fenced budget, the Economic Futures Fund, in place to support the task force’s activities and aims.
Under the proposals, the task force will draw upon research and evidence to assess the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the local economy. This will be used to develop an economic plan which will feature actions to help businesses adapt to the changing economic landscape, improve their resilience and deliver new opportunities for training, skills and employment as well as new business.
The economic plan will seek to encourage productive and competitive business, reduce income inequality and support the transition to a zero-carbon economy. It will also develop healthier, fairer, and more sustainable communities and local businesses which reflect the current Welsh Government approach towards the future of regional investment in Wales.
Cllr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “The taskforce will enable us to identify the needs of local businesses in an efficient, co-ordinated manner, and will feature business leaders, local public sector organisations, the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, representatives from business sectors and trade bodies, and other key stakeholders.
“I’m pleased that that we will be able to back up the taskforce with funding of £1.6m as well as working with partners to maximise its value, using it to lever in matched grant funding to help support the business environment, and to sustain and create local jobs.”