Wales politics

North Wales' deprived areas 'need support' in growth deal

North Wales map

A deal to boost the north Wales economy will need to support the most deprived areas, according to the body working to secure UK government investment.

Iwan Trefor Jones, from the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, said it would be a "challenge" to ensure fairness for communities after Brexit.

The Welsh Government said it had taken a "leadership role" in developing the region's potential.

The UK government said a growth deal for north Wales was a "priority".

Speaking on BBC Wales' O'r Senedd programme for S4C, Mr Jones said: "We have managed to finance a number of different schemes in the most deprived communities in north west Wales with European money and so it's going to be a challenge to ensure those communities get the same degree of fairness.

"We'll be emphasising that any deal will need to spread growth across the north so it reaches the most deprived communities.

"This kind of deal is important in addressing some of the concerns we have as a result of Brexit."

'Economic powerhouse'

Other parts of Wales are already set to benefit from significant investment from the UK and Welsh governments.

The Cardiff City Deal will be worth £1.2bn to the economy of south east Wales and a similar package is expected to to be agreed soon for the Swansea Bay City Region.

A UK government spokeswoman said: "When Alun Cairns became Secretary of State for Wales, he made it clear a growth deal for north Wales was a priority.

"It will allow us to find the right strategic package for the region - one that will create jobs and stimulate new investment."

Welsh Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: "A key part of developing the potential of north Wales as the economic powerhouse that we know it can be would come through the UK government agreeing to support an ambitious growth deal for the region.

"The Welsh Government has already taken a leadership role in bringing leaders and businesses from both sides of the border together to discuss how we can maximise economic opportunities through such a deal."

O'r Senedd is on S4C at 22:00 GMT on Tuesday, 14 March.

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