Report with plans to boost Neath economy released

Friday, February 24, 2017

A report outlining plans to boost the economic prosperity of Neath has been released by the area’s economic forum.

The report, titled Creating tomorrow’s economy, today is the culmination of work over recent months with businesses, trade unions, local government, health and care sectors, the voluntary sector, colleges and universities to look at opportunities for the economy in Neath.

It comes after a forum held in December last year where 45 organisations from the area met with the Minister for Science and Skills, Julie James, in a bid to identify issues for the economy and the changes required.

In order to boost the economy, a number of ideas have been put forward including plans to create Swansea Bay Region Integrated Transport, a service made up of bus, rail and light right offering transport through a multi-hub structure, and a new deal for bus users to improve the service, and routes.

There are also ideas outlined to introduce an integrated post-compulsory education strategy to join up higher education across Wales and make it more accessible and flexible, a plans that require schools to build better connection with the local economy, and revolutionise technology support for careers.

New roles for public bodies in stimulating the local economies have also been discussed in the report, as well as setting up an industry-led body, with the help of Neath businesses, to sell Welsh goods to the world.

Launching the report, Neath AM Jeremy Miles said: “Clear-sighted ambition for Wales has never been more important than it is now.

“We have an opportunity to shape the Welsh Government’s approach to the economy, at a time when we need all hands on deck to make sure that Wales can rise to the challenge of new economic realities following Brexit, a changing workforce and the impact of technology.

“Alongside local businesses and other key players in the local economy, we have generated some exciting ideas for a new economic policy. I’m confident that there are hundreds more ideas out there that need to be heard and considered.

“The Neath region and Wales generally has many enviable assets, not least its immensely resourceful people.

“Now is the time for the Welsh Government to be the most creative and visionary it has ever been – and for all of us living and working in the region to step up to the plate. Economic renewal is not just a task for Government; it’s a responsibility of us all. ” 

“Alongside local businesses and other key players in the local economy, we have generated some exciting ideas for a new economic policy. I’m confident that there are hundreds more ideas out there that need to be heard and considered.

“The Neath region and Wales generally has many enviable assets, not least its immensely resourceful people.

“Now is the time for the Welsh Government to be the most creative and visionary it has ever been – and for all of us living and working in the region to step up to the plate. Economic renewal is not just a task for Government; it’s a responsibility of us all. ”

South Wales Evening Post

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