The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Economic Growth Partnership (REGP) unveiled its new board in a meeting held earlier this week.
The EGP is chaired by Frank Holmes, a founder partner at Gambit Corporate Finance, who will directly advise the CCR Regional Cabinet.
The chair is responsible for reviewing the CCR economic strategy, making recommendations with regards to how the CCR City Deal is implemented, and advising on investment decisions throughout the Cardiff Capital Region.
It will also have an advocacy role, promoting the region as a prime investment opportunity and visitor location.
The 13 board members met for the first time at the Life Science Hub in Cardiff Bay earlier this week where they addressed the economic growth strategy for the next 25 years, including the recently announced proposed investment in Metro Central.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, chair of the CCR Regional Cabinet and Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “We’re very pleased to have established the Board members for the EGP for the CCR City Deal project.
“The EGP plays a crucial role in looking at the decisions we make, and provides a different perspective from private, public and third sector partners in assessing the effectiveness of our investment proposals, so it was important that we selected a high calibre of members to meet the requirements.
“The board members that have been selected are all well-established within their sector and have a great understanding of the region’s economy and of economic growth and policy beyond the region and Wales.
“We are confident that the board members will thrive in their role and make excellent recommendations for the CCR City Deal.”
Councillor Huw Thomas, the CCR’s portfolio co-leader on Economic Development and Leader of Cardiff Council, said: “We’re delighted to announce the Board members for the EGP.
“All of their experience and knowledge of working with businesses across the entire city-region will be invaluable in making sure the decisions are the best ones to help grow the Cardiff Capital Region Economy.”
Frank Holmes said: “I feel very honoured to have the opportunity to chair and work with an outstanding calibre of Board of members with experiences within the region that are unrivalled.
“Together, we will champion the City Region, which I believe is a deliverable challenge and a fulfilling opportunity for all involved.”
The aim of the CCR City Deal is to create jobs and boost economic prosperity across the region by improving productivity, tackle worklessness, build innovation, invest in physical and digital infrastructure, and provide support for business.
The CCR Regional Cabinet has already agreed to invest £37.9 million to support the development of a compound semiconductor industry cluster in south-east Wales.
The funding is being generated from the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal’s Wider Investment Fund – and is the first such investment since the £1.2 billion programme was formally signed by the leaders of the ten local authorities in the region on March 1 last year.
The project is expected to leverage up to £375 million of private sector investment over the next five years, and the creation of up to 2,000 high value, high-tech jobs, with the potential for hundreds more in the wider supply chain and cluster development.
The board consists of 13 representatives from businesses, higher education, social enterprise, employment and local government. The members are:
Chair - Frank Holmes – Founding Partner, Gambit Corporate Finance LLP
Andrew Probert – Former Finance and IT Director of Admiral Group plc
Andrew Cooksley – Founder and CEO of ACT Ltd
Kevin Gardiner – Global Investment Strategist, Rothschild Wealth Management
Nathan Bowles – Founder, Smart Solutions and Veezu Holdings Limited
David Notley – CEO, Impact Innovation & Growth Services
Chris Sutton – Regional Director, Jones Lang
Professor Julie Lydon OBE – Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive, University of South Wales
Judith Evans – Principal, Coleg Cymoedd
Martin Mansfield - TUC
Cerys Furlong – Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg
Councillor Huw Thomas – Leader, Cardiff City Council – deputy chair
Councillor Peter Fox – Leader, Monmouthshire County Council – deputy chair