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Liverpool and Chester part of a ‘supercharged north Wales corridor of growth’ says Michael Gove

07 Mar 2022 4 minute read
Michael Gove on a Levelling Up visit to Greater Manchester. Picture by Tim Hammond / No 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Liverpool and Chester are part of a “north Wales corridor” which will be “supercharged” by the Conservatives, the secretary for Levelling Up Michael Gove has said.

Responding to a question by Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes in the House of Commons, Michael Gove said that Wales had been “neglected” under Labour governments but those communities would now “get the investment they deserve”.

A bid to revitalise the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site received £13.3m as part of the UK Government’s levelling up funding scheme.

“I am delighted that the UK Government have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Wrexham and Denbighshire councils in order to allow the first phase of the £13.3 million levelling-up projects in Clwyd South to progress,” Simon Baynes said.

“Will my right hon. Friend provide further detail on how he sees these levelling-up fund projects addressing regional inequality in my part of north Wales?”

Michael Gove responded that the north of Wales had been “neglected under previous Labour Governments”.

“It is only this Conservative Administration who are making sure that communities such as Wrexham and Llangollen get the investment they deserve,” he said.

“He and my honourable friend the estimable Member for Wrexham [Sarah Atherton] have put forward exciting propositions and we want to make sure that the whole north Wales corridor, from Ynys Môn, over the border into Liverpool and Chester, becomes a supercharged corridor for growth, and that will only happen under this Government.”

‘Cross-border’

Michael Gove’s comments come after a Welsh Conservative MP called for a new city region “straddling the border between England and north Wales” last week.

David Jones said that the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, should work with the Welsh Government to bring the project to fruition.

He referred to a 2012 report by Dr Elizabeth Haywood, City-regions, which suggested that city regions be created in the south east of Wales and Swansea Bay and that the existing Mersey Dee Alliance be strengthened in the north east of Wales.

He said that he had recently met with UK Government Minister Neil O’Brien, the Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up, to discuss how such a cross-border city region might be pursued.

“I strongly urge my right honourable friend the Secretary of State to work with colleagues in the Welsh Government to reassess that report and to work to create that city region, with a formalised role for the Mersey Dee Alliance, to produce coordinated policies for the whole region,” he said.

“I think the proposal has widespread support in north Wales and north-west England, and it would do a great deal to improve still further the economic potential of what is already one of the most important industrial areas of the country.”

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes said that he supported the proposal, saying that “such cross-border interaction is vital for my Clwyd South constituency”.

Currently, there are two city deals and two growth deals in operation in Wales, which are agreements between the UK Government, Welsh Government, and the local authorities in the city region.

The Cardiff City Region deal covers ten local authorities in the south-east of Wales, and includes a £1.2 billion investment fund. The Swansea City Deal covers the local authorities of Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and City and County of Swansea and ncludes £1.3 billion in funding.

A North Wales Growth Deal was signed in December 2020 and covers the local authorities of Conwy County Borough, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey and Wrexham County Borough.


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Grayham Jones
6 months ago

It’s time to close all boarders with England and charged people for crossing the borders into wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Richard
Richard
6 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Oh dear 😅 Grayham …..think this one out for a second mate ..please ………

Apart from many thousands who have to across work just over Offas Dyke each day before returning to Cymru fach …..just think of the trade routes in across the Severn and Dee ….bringing stuff from across Europe and the world.

Across Europe and the world 🌎 borders that protect also act as a conduit for many good things and shared experiences…..

Carol Loughlin
Carol Loughlin
6 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

*Wales

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
6 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

The French have charges on highways. Welsh Gov. could think about financing the N-S Highway using tolls. The A5 had tolls for many years.

Last edited 6 months ago by I.Humphrys
Ann
Ann
6 months ago

“Michael Gove responded that the north of Wales had been “neglected under previous Labour Governments”.”

The Tories have neglected us for far longer than Labour including the last 12 years!

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
6 months ago
Reply to  Ann

…..plus putting the boot in very much more of late?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago

Ooh goody, we get £13M for a canal in the sky and only have to pay £6Bn for a railway somewhere far away.
They seem to have won that one 450 to 1.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
6 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

And now we have to pay £3 to park.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
6 months ago

The regional economic ‘winners’ will be Liverpool in North Wales, and Cardiff in South Wales. If the Western Powerhouse scheme promoted in South Wales (supported by Labour) goes ahead the economic ‘winner’ will be Bristol.

Leaving the poorer parts of Wales on the periphery yet again.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
6 months ago
Reply to  Cwm Rhondda

Liverpool owes us a pocketful! Apologies are not enough.

Arwyn
6 months ago

So, rehashes of proposals that continue to divide Wales or bolt bits of Wales on to bits of England. Where’s the proposal that looks at the economy on an all-Wales basis? What about tackling the productivity gap that costs Wales billions? What about the chronic capital expenditure underspend in Wales? Nothing. Nowt. Not a peep. Just more British Nationalist tub-thumping from Tory blowhards. Give me a break. Honestly …

Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

Still trying to obscure our border.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

Again the English Tories want Wales, North Wales in particular, to have their noses pressed up against NW England’s powerhouse hoping for scraps to be thrown from their table when we should & must have our own Welsh powerhouses to serve our geographical areas.

We will never realise our potential as a people & country if we accept second best from our Whitehall Anglocentric centrists who treat Wales with utter contempt as if we were a mere county not a country on the Western fringe of England..

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
6 months ago

“David Jones said that the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, should work with the Welsh Government to bring the project to fruition.”

That’ll be a first. Hart has nothing but contempt for the Welsh Government and spends his time at loggerheads with it.

Has Hart done anything for the good of the people he’s supposed to represent?

Kurt C
Kurt C
6 months ago

So draining what little failed investment out of Cymru and into English cities. Making us just regions of England, disgusting.

Gareth W
Gareth W
6 months ago

It seems to be a plan to make regions of Wales more dependent on regions of England. Wales won’t get the money they will just supply the labour.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
6 months ago

The Tory Govt. seem to have found a winning formula for divide and rule and for undermining devolution. I see no way out of this for Cymru. If the WG had not wasted money on their 3rd-Sector cronies and other projects of no value, the Tories wouldn’t have had any justification for this “levelling up” ploy. Big own goal by Plaid Llafur.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
6 months ago
Reply to  Rhosddu

Yet another Colonial project. We need to put pressure on our elected representatives to resist this kind of thing. We don’t need Whitehall to tell us what we need to do to re-vitalise Wales. Just let us hve our fair share of funding that was promised in the Brexit campaigns and we can look after ourselves.

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