Theresa May in Wales to sign £1.3bn Swansea Bay City deal


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Theresa May in Wales to sign £1.3bn Swansea Bay City deal

  • 20 March 2017
  • From the section Wales politics
  • comments
Carwyn Jones and Theresa May
Image caption Carwyn Jones and Theresa May met to sign the deal and discuss Brexit on Monday

Prime Minister Theresa May has signed off the Swansea Bay City Region deal, insisting she wants Wales "at the forefront of science and innovation".

The plan is expected to create more than 9,000 jobs and trigger almost £1.3bn investment in south west Wales.

Mrs May said it would "benefit the whole of Wales".

It comes as First Minister Carwyn Jones told the Guardian Mrs May had a "tin ear" on issues of devolution.

Live updates on the Swansea Bay city deal signing

Q&A: What is in the Swansea Bay city deal?

Downing Street said Mrs May's visits to the four UK nations, which began in Wales, would ensure the government was "engaging and listening to people from right across the nation" as it prepared to leave the European Union.

The UK government confirmed the Article 50 process would be triggered a week on Wednesday.

Speaking ahead of the city deal signing, the prime minister said: "Wales' universities already have an excellent international reputation.

"They attract overseas students and pioneer in research projects here and abroad.

"I also want Wales to be at the forefront of science and innovation, as demonstrated by today's landmark city deal for Swansea.

"The deal is a great example of what can be achieved when the UK Government, the Welsh Government and local authorities work together to secure a deal that benefits the city and the whole of Wales."

As well as meeting the first minister, Mrs May saw representatives from a range of sectors and businesses at the signing ceremony at Swansea's Liberty Stadium.

Projects in Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire

  • Connecting renewable and conventional energy firms digitally and developing new systems and storage processes
  • A "cloud" enterprise zone to attract data companies
  • Using the internet to improve health diagnostics, manage data and create personal treatment plans and tele-care
  • A steel science centre

Speaking ahead of the signing, Mr Jones said: "We have pushed long and hard for this city deal to be signed and have given it our strongest possible backing with £125m of Welsh Government investment.

"This is a package which will deliver jobs and economic growth for all of south west Wales, with clear benefits for all the areas involved.

"Today's announcement is a transformative deal that will drive the regional economy in a new direction, supported by high-quality jobs and a digital infrastructure."

Rob Stewart, leader of Swansea council and the city region, said: "This is among the biggest investments Wales has ever seen, so it's a historic day for the Swansea Bay City Region."