Western Powerhouse

Welsh secretary calls for Western Powerhouse

The Welsh secretary Alun Cairns has claimed that a new economic region to rival the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine could be created in Wales and South West England.

Speaking at the first Severn Growth Summit in Newport last week, he addressed an audience of over 350 guests from business, education, cultural and digital sectors on either side of the Severn Crossings.

The government recently announced that it would remove the tolls to cross the Severn Bridges by the end of the year.

In his keynote speech, Mr Cairns urged companies in all sectors to seize the new opportunities that the end of the tolls would create and to grasp the potential of the region.

He said: “[The] Severn Growth Summit is set to spark the biggest commercial conversation for the west of the UK in a generation, but it will be nothing without the collaborative backing of business, communities and governments on both sides of the estuary.

“One of the key drivers behind the Northern Powerhouse was the volume of people commuting between Liverpool and Manchester.

“However, there are more people commuting between Bristol and either Cardiff or Newport.

“This shows that this region has the huge potential to rival the Northern Powerhouse or Midlands Engine.

 “A collective voice is an effective voice and I believe such cross-border co-operation will transform the economies of South Wales and the South West of England.”

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