July 25, 2024

Programme Office unveiled to lead the £1bn North Wales Growth Deal

THIS is the team driving the North Wales Vision to boost the economy and create thousands of jobs that will transform the region for generations to come.

Led by director Alwen Williams, the North Wales Economic Ambition Board Programme Office will spearhead development of the seven programmes forming the £1bn North Wales Growth Deal.

Based at Conwy Business Centre in Llandudno Junction, they will aim to leverage commercial investment and build business cases for priority projects in 2020, before laying foundations for delivery from the following year onwards.

Previously Senior Area Manager for Openreach in London and the South East, and Director of BT Wales, Alwen plans to collaborate with all industries and ensure the Growth Deal has a positive impact on the environment, transport, education and many other sectors.

Joining her will be Digital Programme Manager Stuart Whitfield; Energy Programme Manager Henry Aron; Land and Property Manager David Matthews, Operations Manager, Hedd Vaughan-Evans, and Nia Medi-Williams.

“Now the Programme Office is in place we are ready to move forward and continue the great work of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board,” said Alwen, who lives in Mold with husband, Damian.

“There is a big responsibility on our shoulders, but we are ready for the challenge and have already made strides in meeting with key groups and individuals in the private and public sector.

“Over the coming months the programmes will begin to take shape, with outline business cases drawn-up and funding secured to begin delivering the projects from 2021.

“But the Vision for North Wales is not limited to the Growth Deal – as pivotal as that is – because there are many other schemes across the six counties and beyond that will help boost the economy and interweave for the benefit of the region for generations to come.”

She added: “We will harness that, work together and bring to fruition the years of collaboration and planning carried out by the Ambition Board, the Welsh and UK Governments and other stakeholders.

“We look forward to the journey ahead and thank everyone, especially members of the Ambition Board, for their support.”

The new Programme Managers have a wealth of experience in myriad industries and look forward to setting the wheels in motion.

Former valuer and commercial development manager David Matthews is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and worked for both Conwy and Denbighshire councils in land, property and regeneration.

Henry Aron led on marine policy for Natural Resources Wales and managed the organisation’s role in Wylfa Newydd, having earlier delivered climate change projects for Norfolk and Dorset councils and managed an EU-funded project for the Countryside Council for Wales.

Previously a member of the Economic Development and Business Support department at Denbighshire County Council, Stuart Whitfield has also coordinated research and development projects in advanced chemical and electrical technologies, partnering with industry and academia. He has also worked on rural development projects and in logistics and financial services.

Hedd Vaughan-Evans, who as Operations Manager will unite the team in coordination and delivery of the Vision, says they are well-placed to capitalise on the progress made in securing Heads of Terms with the Welsh and UK Governments last autumn.

“It’s my role to support the co-ordination, development and delivery of the North Wales Vision, ensuring we have the right levels of resource, governance and control to drive forward the programmes already in place,” said Hedd, from Ruthin, who returned to the area following a successful spell as Assistant Director for Performance and Transformation at Cherwell council in Oxfordshire.

“We have a great team and with Alwen at the helm are well-placed to begin building relationships and generating support and interest that will take the Growth Deal forward.”

Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn, chair of North Wales Economic Ambition Board and leader of Gwynedd County Council, added: “Now that the Programme Office is in operation the work can really begin.

“From the Growth Bid to the Growth Deal and on to the next level, delivering the programmes and identifying other initiatives as part of a wider Growth Vision to bring about more jobs, economic prosperity and opportunities for families, businesses and people of all ages in North Wales.”

For more information, visit the website: www.northwaleseab.co.uk. Alternatively, email [email protected] or follow North Wales Economic Ambition Board on social media at @BUEGogleddCymru (Welsh) or @NorthWalesEAB (English).