Looking east for opportunities - 13 June 2019 - Village Hotel

A well-attended event heard from guest speakers as to how effective partnership working in Neath Port Talbot is opening up fresh opportunities for economic growth.

Following a welcome from Adam Smith, GM, Village Hotel, Jane Davidson, pro-vice chancellor at UWTSD introduced the panel and highlighted how seamless working between key partners was key to sustainable business growth and development.

That point was echoed by Cllr Anthony Taylor, Deputy Leader, Neath Port Talbot CBC, and who holds the cabinet portfolio for economic regeneration. He emphasised that the local authority prided itself on combining strategic action with targeted resources.  The result was an impressive range of capital and supported projects that would have a local and regional impact.

Simon Brennan, Head of Service, Regeneration then listed a series of schemes that were aimed at boosting employment and business opportunities. The audience heard about examples of investment coupled smart on-the-ground activity which in once instance would hopefully result in relocation of a significant London-based enterprise.  Simon also underlined how working with community organisations strengthened what the locality had to offer. A video of how schemes are progressing is available (see below).

This inter-linked approach was taken up by Catherine Evans of NPT Group who explained the different means by which further education was able to support employers and strategic training programs. Her presentation included a range of qualification packages accredited to key stages which extended to degree level.  She also shared details of joint initiatives undertaken with training partners.

An example of how skills development linked with industry came from Gareth Evans of Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC). This is a joint pan-Wales venture between Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and University of Wales Trinity St David (UWTSD). The centre is headquartered in the SA1 campus but covers are wide range of facilities. The latest - based with Neath Port Talbot - is a new purposed developed scaffolding facility in Bay Studios, Fabian Way.

Rounding off proceedings, Jane Davidson returned to how effective inter-relationships between strategic bodies, business and academia were essential to fostering a sound economic platform. She also touched on latest developments surrounding renewed efforts to deliver a tidal energy lagoon for Swansea Bay. In many respects, the significance of the location and the partnership work that would be needed in its delivery were reflected by what had been covered in presentations.


Presentations slides will be available soon