The cross-border Western Gateway partnership wants to create the UK’s first green energy cluster

The Western Gateway, a cross- border economic partnership between South Wales and the west of England, will hold its first ever green growth conference at the Celtic Manor in Newport next Tuesday.

Here its chair Katherine Bennett on its plans to create the UK’ first green energy cluster and more.

Our Western Gateway area is home to a unique mix of highly skilled, innovative people who are passionate about sustainable solutions alongside leading industry and enterprise.

We want to use this to power the UK’s ambition to reach net zero environment targets, while also providing opportunities to those who are at risk of being left behind.

With beautiful countryside, cultural landmarks and access to a vibrant arts scene, we are a great place to live that can attract world class talent.

Despite this, too many live in relative deprivation with a lack of access to good services and education.

We want to use our strengths to open new opportunities and level up these communities.

Reaching across the union, people within our area regularly cross borders to access work, leisure and family with over 140,000 journeys a day across the Severn motorway bridge and many more by train.

We want to make sure that decision-making and opportunities can reach across the union as well to benefit all our communities.

Our powerhouse partnership has an important role to play in providing real amplification and additionality to existing projects, infrastructure and industrial strategies.

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Following two years of building relationships and our evidence base, our prospectus puts forward a bold vision for how we will use our ambition and skills as a catalyst for prosperity and a better, greener future for all.

South Wales and western England’s first ever powerhouse conference will be held at the Celtic Manor conference centre.

Leaders from across business and research, alongside local and national governments on both sides of the Severn, will gather in Newport to discuss how they can work together to level up communities and create a greener, fairer future for all.

The Western Gateway Partnership is the area’s pan regional partnership, which stretches from Swindon to Swansea and includes the cities of Newport, Bristol and Cardiff at its heart. The partnership aims to champion success, tackle shared problems and create new opportunities for the 4.4 million people who live within its boundaries.

Speakers include Catherine Lewis La Torre, chief executive of the British Business Bank, Simon Gibson, CEO of the Wesley Clover Wales, and Joanna Pontin, Vice President of DST Innovation, the organisation behind Swansea’s Blue Eden development, which includes plans for a tidal lagoon.

We have so many great strengths based within the Western Gateway, whether that’s engineering, digital and cyber innovation or our creative and manufacturing excellence. We want to bring all these talents together at our first conference to work together to understand how we can build on this to level up our communities, build on our potential and help deliver for the UK.

Green Growth in the Western Gateway will give business, research and academia a chance to come together with public authorities on both sides of the border to help steer how our partnership creates growth and new opportunities for the 4.4 million people who live here. We want to level up communities and help our area reach net zero.

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