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Economy Economy

Bring forward a North Wales Growth Deal

Last updated: 06:21pm 4 October 2019

…and bring forward a North Wales Growth Deal, connecting north Wales with northern England.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.33

Our verdict

Since 2013, successive governments have worked with joint local authority-business bodies called Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to develop Local Growth Deals:

“A partnership between the Government and LEPs…in pursuit of the shared objective of growth.”

There are over 40 Local Growth Deals in place across England. This policy is a promise to “bring forward” a new Growth Deal for North Wales. We’re interpreting “bring forward” in this context as meaning “introduce for discussion” (in the way government “brings forward” a bill to Parliament), and not as meaning “move to an earlier time”.

Ahead of the 2017 Autumn Budget, the government received a bid for the North Wales Growth Deal. The Budget itself then restated the government’s commitment to this policy:

“The government will begin formal negotiations towards a North Wales growth deal.”

By the summer of 2018, the government was speaking of a “final push” towards completing the deal. Things appear to have slowed down since then, but discussions in July 2019 “identified the requirements needed to reach a ‘Heads of Terms Agreement’”, and committed the UK and Welsh governments to further funding for the deal.

Progress towards completion of the North Wales Growth Deal has not been rapid, but discussions are ongoing and some funding has been agreed. The government has brought the deal forward, so we’re marking this one as ‘done’.

Bring forward the detail

There's always room for debate

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