Mark Drakeford, First Minister and Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport
The publication of the Independent Review of the Swansea Bay City Region City Deal in February provided a solid foundation upon which the Welsh and UK Governments and the regional partners could move forward with delivery of the City Deal.
Responding to the findings of the report, our initial priority was the finalisation of the business cases for the Swansea Waterfront Digital District and the project at Yr Egin in Carmarthen. Both governments committed to expediting the appraisal process to enable these projects to move into the delivery phase as quickly as possible.
The Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project features a state-of-the-art, 3,500-capacity digital indoor arena,benefitting from world class digital connectivity. A digital plaza will also be constructed outside the arena, complete with digital artworks and other digital features.
Other aspects of the Swansea project include a 28,000 square foot box village and 64,000 square foot innovation precinct for start-up businesses at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David campus in SA1. A 100,000 square foot digital village development will also be constructed on Kingsway, providing cutting-edge working spaces for tech and digitally focussed companies.
The Yr Egin creative and digital hub is in Carmarthen, at the town’s University of Wales of Trinity Saint David campus. The City Deal will deliver phase 2 of the project, building on the success of securing S4C as an anchor tenant for Phase 1. It will deliver additional space to build a vibrant and connected creative cluster to maximise the benefit of the national broadcaster relocating to the region.
We are now in a position to confirm that both Governments have agreed ‘in principle’ exceptional and conditional release of £18m of programme funding on the basis of the Yr Egin and the Swansea City Waterfront Digital District business cases on a phased basis.
This is subject to agreement and compliance with Terms and Conditions.
We have also agreed that up to £18m of further funding could potentially be available this financial year to support the wider deal programme. This would be subject to conditions including implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Review.
Furthermore, the Welsh Government will provide up to £100k of additional funding in financial year 2019-20 to complement the money already being spent in the region to implement those recommendations and support a stocktake of the remaining deal projects ensuring the region’s readiness for delivering the whole city deal.
The Welsh Government remains committed to working with partners to deliver the City Deal and this announcement underlines our confidence that the deal can deliver for people living and working in the Swansea Bay City Region.