A Growth Deal for North Wales is moving forward – but needs the support of the Chancellor and other Ministers.
I met Ken Skates, the Welsh Government Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, in Westminster to catch up this week. He joined a meeting of the Mersey-Dee North Wales All Party Parliamentary Group to tell us about the work his Government has done.
A North Wales Growth deal, and improvements to our transport system, are crucial in giving our region the infrastructure it needs for the 21st century. There is a lot of work to secure a deal, and it needs engagement at each level of Government – from local councils up.
The All-Party group has been working closely to raise the profile of the issue with Ministers in Wales and London, and with politicians across the region. It was good to catch up with Ken, and to hear that he, too, has been working with fellow politicians – including the newly-elected ‘metro Mayor’ for Liverpool, Steve Rotheram – to develop our region.
It was good, too, to hear the work that the Welsh Government are already doing to boost our infrastructure – with around £600 million of transport improvements in the pipeline for North Wales and £50 million put towards developing the North Wales Metro.
We discussed the work that local authorities can do to help make the Growth Bid a reality, and the work which we expect to see from the UK Government in the coming months.
As the Autumn Budget approaches, it is clear that the Welsh Government is committed to a North Wales Growth Deal. Our region expects to see a similar commitment from the Chancellor and other UK Ministers on November 22.