The biggest ever investment across the South West Wales region has been secured following the approval of the £1.3billion Swansea Bay City Deal.
The City Deal is expected to give the Swansea Bay City Region a permanent uplift in its GVA of £1.8 billion and will generate almost 10,000 new jobs over the next 15 years.
The total investment package is made up of £241 million UK and Welsh Government funding, £396 million other Public Sector investment and £637 million from the Private Sector.
The City Deal programme includes 11 projects across 4 key themes of Economic Acceleration, Life Science and Well-being, Energy, and Smart Manufacturing. An enhanced Digital Infrastructure & next generation wireless networks and the development of workforce skills and talent will underpin each.
Swansea Bay City Deal projects
There are a number of City Deal projects based within Neath Port Talbot these include:
Homes as Power Stations
The Swansea Bay City Deal Homes as Power Stations (HAPS) project is a regional 5 year programme led by Neath Port Talbot CBC on behalf of the City Deal local authorities, which aims to deliver smart, low carbon, energy efficient homes through a coordinated approach across the region, ultimately leading to a reduction in fuel poverty and its impact on health and wellbeing and contributing to carbon emission reduction targets and alleviating the housing shortage to address the housing need.
The HAPS programme will target both new build projects and the retrofit of existing buildings. The aim is to provide proof on concept in the public sector at relatively small scale with the intention of scaling up activity across the region and sectors. The ‘pathfinder’ project is currently on site at the former Hafod Care Home in Neath – this is a collaborative project between Neath Talbot CBC, Pobl and Swansea University – SPECIFIC.
The HAPS programme comprises 4 elements:
- New build programme of investment
- Retrofit programme of investment
- Supply chain development project (including a HAPS supply chain regional investment fund)
- Monitoring and evaluation
The HAPS programme expects to achieve the following targets:
- Future proof at least 10,300 properties within 5 years (7,000 retrofit and 3,300 new build)
- Improve health and wellbeing and reduce the burden on health and social services
- Demonstrate the viability of the HAPS concept
- Initiate a sustainable regional supply chain
Swansea Bay Technology Centre
The Swansea Bay City Deal Swansea Bay Technology Centre located at Baglan Energy Park will be a hybrid building of approximately 2,500 m² providing a range of high quality flexible office space to support start-up companies and indigenous business growth with a focus on the innovation and R&D sectors.
The design of the Technology Centre will incorporate building materials to establish it as a ‘building as a power station’ and demonstrate how this technology can be incorporated into an industrial building.
The Technology Centre expects to achieve the following targets:
- Premises created – 2,500 m²
- Jobs accommodated – 210
- Enterprises accommodated – 35
The Swansea Bay City Deal Centre of Excellence for Next Generation Services (CENGS) project will establish a not-for-dividend organisation which will provide a data analytics capability to turn world class data sourced innovation into commercial systems and solutions establishing a leadership position for Wales and the UK.
The core objective of CENGS is to transition ‘ideas’ to private sector job creation and wealth generation. CENGS will provide the platform and specialist skills needed to ‘pull through’ innovative ideas into commercial propositions. A pipeline of innovation, ideas and opportunities will be sourced locally from research institutions, universities and businesses.
The CENGS organisation will be staffed with a mix of commercial and technical experts focused on realisation and commercialisation of innovative ideas generated by others. The opportunity to establish the CENGS organisation will be competitively procured on the open market.
The CENGS project expects to achieve the following targets:
- No. enterprises launched – 50 (by year 5)
- Gross jobs created – 500 by end of year 10
Swansea University will establish a new National Steel Innovation Centre (NSIC) which will be an open access facility for the steel and metals supply chain which will provide a complete range of research capabilities.
The Centre will focus on providing commercial R&D to address the current and future challenges of sustaining steelmaking capacity in the region and the UK. It will work with Industry to reduce its carbon impact and place the region at the cutting edge of low carbon production. In addition it will support the development of value and supply chain opportunities in new products and processes.
Factory of the Future
Swansea University will develop a regional Centre of Excellence to develop, demonstrate and accelerate the uptake of disruptive smart manufacturing technologies.
The new facility will be based near the Bay Campus and aims to create new jobs in advanced manufacturing, help local businesses to get the most out of advances in digital technology, create faster, more flexible and more efficient processes, increase regional and company competitiveness and support local manufacturing business to reduce the productivity gap.
For further information on the Swansea Bay City Deal