City Deal becomes a reality

City Deal and Cardiff LDP sign-offs get 2016 off to an 'excellent start'

16 March 2016

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The hard worked for and much presaged £1.2bn Cardiff Capital Region City Deal was finally signed on 15th March, the day before the UK Budget, making the Chancellor’s pledge that the deal could be signed by March a reality. Key priorities include the South East Wales Metro and Valley Lines Electrification programme; a regional non-statutory transport authority - Transport for Wales - to co-ordinate transport planning and investment in partnership with the Welsh Government; increased housebuilding; an Innovation District with a software academy and cyber security academy; and extra funding for a compound semi-conductor project. Further investment is expected from the private sector and 25,000 new jobs could be created.

Cooke & Arkwright’s Chairman, Michael Lawley commented, “This is a hugely significant agreement which will boost Cardiff’s growing reputation in attracting national and international property developers and investors to the area. The City Deal should ensure that momentum on major infrastructure and regeneration projects planned for the region is stepped up, bringing economic growth to meet the needs of the population of Cardiff, which is one of the fastest growing in the UK. The deal runs over 20 years rather than the typical 30 years, and we hope that this will bring about faster delivery of these projects, along with concepts for new schemes and developments.

“2016 has got off to an excellent start, with the City Deal and the Cardiff LDP both signed off. The Chancellor’s announcement in his March budget statement that the UK Government is also opening discussion on a City Deal for Swansea and a growth deal for North Wales so it’s better connected to the Northern Powerhouse is also very welcome, as we would like to see the whole of Wales reap economic benefits.”

Ten local authority leaders from Cardiff, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport City, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen and Vale of Glamorgan, together with the Secretary of State for Wales, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and First Minister of Wales signed the agreement in a ceremony at Admiral’s headquarters in Cardiff on 15 March.

Cooke & Arkwright have been providing rating valuation advice to The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (“WRU”) and Millennium Stadium plc for many years. They were recently successful in achieving substantial reductions in the assessments of the Millennium Stadium, covering both the 2005 and 2010 rating list. These negotiated reductions yielded savings of c.£3.5m which, crucially, allows the WRU to re-invest in rugby throughout Wales. They advise the WRU across the group portfolio including the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan. The valuation issues across the WRU portfolio are complex requiring a high level of understanding of the funding and finances of professional sport in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright’s experience and understanding of these issues and application to the rating valuation have yielded these substantial negotiated reductions. The WRU and the Millennium Stadium entrust our work to organisations with the required levels in experience and expertise in dealing with these complex issues. I am glad to say we have this expertise in Wales. I would have no hesitation in recommending ratepayers making use of this Welsh based expertise.

The Welsh Rugby Union Limited, Welsh Rugby Union Group