Wales politics

No 'same old, same old' north Wales growth deal, says minister

Stuart Andrew
Image caption Stuart Andrew will say a north Wales growth deal "makes more sense than ever"

An economic blueprint for north Wales will not be signed off without the full backing of the private sector, a UK government minister has warned.

Wales Office Minister Stuart Andrew said the growth deal must not be "more of the same old, same old".

Mr Andrew told business and local government leaders the initiative has to be "truly transformational" for the lives of local people.

He was addressing the CBI North Wales annual dinner in Ewloe, Flintshire.

Growth deals are ways of attracting extra investment into an area using central and local government working with private companies.

Mr Andrew said: "I won't sign off a deal that doesn't have the full support and participation of the private sector - and I won't sign off on a deal unless I am convinced it is the absolute best way to spend the money to achieve our objectives here in north Wales."

He argued that a north Wales growth deal "makes more sense than ever" in a region with a distinct identity.

"But a growth deal has got to be the right deal. It must be truly transformational for the lives of local people. That means having the right partners," he said.

"Gathered here tonight are the deal makers, the innovators, the business leaders of this region. You must be central to the deal.

"Growth deals are about local innovation, they are about unblocking barriers to growth for local businesses, and about unlocking new investment into a region. They are not about more of the same old, same old."

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards said the growth deal was "another Westminster con - empty rhetoric left without funding to back it up".

More on this story