In the week when Welsh Government published its mission on how it will rebuild and reconstruct the economy following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Minister will address the north Wales and Mersey Dee Business Council summit on recovery in the region.
The past year has been exceptionally challenging and difficult for businesses, and those challenges are continuing. While we tackle and deal with the immediate situation we must also look to the future and how we will rebuild.
This summit today is very timely and is testament to how north Wales works together as a region and with its cross-border partners. This is a key strength for the region.
Yesterday I published our Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission which sets out how we will rebuild Wales’ post-covid economy, focusing on well-being, driving prosperity, is environmentally sound and ensuring everyone achieves their potential.
To support this, I also announced an additional £270 million for the Development Bank of Wales’s Flexible Investment Fund. This means more than £500 million will be available through the fund up to 2030 to support the long term success and growth of our firms, in turn creating and protecting thousands of Welsh jobs.
The North Wales Growth Deal will be key to rebuilding and supporting the region over the next months and years. It has the potential to transform the region’s economy, with the objective of delivering total investment of £1 billion. Last December I was pleased to sign the final deal agreement.
We are investing in transport infrastructure in the region through the north Wales metro programme and we can see major projects under way such as the £135 million Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass which is delivering economic benefits and job opportunities. These developments will help in the long-term reconstruction of the region’s economy.
The sheer scale of the challenges businesses are facing is huge, but we are with them every step of the way. We have the opportunity now to work together to rebuild a fairer, greener and more prosperous future where no one is left behind and everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.