Representatives from the UK Government, Welsh Government, business and city regions are due to meet on Monday 22nd January to discuss opportunities to strengthen economic links between Wales and South West England. The Severn Growth Summit has been prompted by the scheduled abolition of tolls on the Severn bridges which should help to create an opportunity to create an economic region on the west of the UK which can compete with the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine and London and South East England. For the full story please read the news bulletin below which was issued today by Insider Media Ltd.
Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 19th January 2018
Toll abolition sparks economy debate
Representatives of the UK government, Welsh Government, business and city regions will come together in Newport on Monday to discuss strengthening economic links between Wales and South West England.
The Severn Growth Summit, organised by the UK government, was prompted by this year’s reduction and scheduled abolition of tolls on the Severn bridges.
Speakers and panellists at the Celtic Manor Resort event will include secretary of state for Wales Alun Cairns; David Rosser of the Welsh Government; Andrew Morgan, representing Cardiff Capital Region; and Tim Bowles, metro mayor of the West of England.
Also on stage will be Grant Mansfield of Plimsoll Productions, Denise Lovering of Glenside Commercials, Dylan Jones-Evans of the University of South Wales, Chris Sutton of JLL, Katherine Bennett of Airbus UK, Katharine Finn of PWC and Colin Riordan of Cardiff University.
Industries that could benefit from the toll abolition include digital media, tourism and TV production, which are active on both sides of the Severn, secretary of state Alun Cairns told Insider.
He said: “The reduction and removal of Severn tolls will create an opportunity to create an economic region on the west of the UK that can compete with the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine and London and South East England.”
Cairns defined the region as including Swansea to the west, and Bath to the east. He said universities including Cardiff, Bristol and Bath could join forces to compete with Oxford, Cambridge and London.
Part of the area defined by Cairns was covered by the Great Western Cities partnership between Cardiff, Newport and Bristol, which was launched in 2015.
Carins told Insider he was keen to learn how the Great Western Cities initiative had developed, to build on it and inform future cooperation across the Severn.