The report was noted.
provided an overview of the report as circulated, they explained that Neath
Port Talbot were leading the proposal of the provisional allocation of £5,300,000
City deal funds and it is intended to go into supporting innovation and low
carbon growth program to bolster and enhance the advanced manufacture
production facility as part of it.
were advised that program board had endorsed this on the 18th of April 2023 and
Joint Committee approved it on the 11th of May. Members were advised that the
approval means that Neath Port Talbot can now update their business case to
support innovation & low carbon growth to enhance the advanced production
facility with the inclusion of a national NetZero Skills Centre of Excellence.
national NetZero Skills Centre of Excellence is a physical build, housing a
Centre for Excellence for Skills. Officers explained that this is a consequence
of the removal of the Centre of Excellence and Next Generation Services, The
Factories of the Future and Steel Science. All of which lead by NPT in 2019.
explained that what came as a consequence of that, was
the support and innovation low carbon growth program which was incorporated
into the programme and approved by the Governments in March 2021.
were advised that this meant that the £5,300,000 of the City Deal funds
remained unallocated to any project or programme and Neath Port Talbot
requested to amend the low carbon business case with a PMO. Officers requested
to Joint committee that they approve these unallocated funds go to Neath Port
Talbot in principle, for the purposes outlined in the report.
requested that Neath Port Talbot can formally proceed with the development of a
business case to include the advanced manufacturing production facility project
and go through a process which is included in appendix b. around the business
case approval change process associated with that. The development of the
business case is currently being processed.
explained thar in relation to target dates, there has been a lot of engagement
with further and higher education, Industry Wales, NetZero Industry Wales and local industry through the Economic Development
team. Officers are basing this on need and demand from the industry and as
such, this is an industry lead facility and industry lead skills; Welsh
Government are also very interested in it.
advised that in relation to timeline that they are working through the economic
and business cases at the moment and are hoping to
have the first draft of the economic case by this week. They will then review
the document with Jonathan Burns’ team and other parties they have been
are going to the Low Carbon Growth Program Board of Governors on the 14th of
September 2023 and then the City Deal program board on the 31st of October 2023
and then for decision at City Deal Joint Committee on the 16th of November
advised that because this is a significant change, it will likely need to be
approved by Government but officers are already in
dialogue with Welsh Government in regards to this.
were happy to receive the timeline and welcomed the funding, they asked to clarify
where the Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone falls.
advised that it Covers harbourside, Baglan energy park and Baglan industrial
welcomed the numbers of jobs created in relation to this project and asked
whether they were long term jobs.
confirmed that they are long term jobs, some linked to construction but most
from successful spin out companies and spin out from Swansea University and
Trinity Saint David. Both are looking for premises for startup and this facility
will provide shared equipment and industry led skills such as looking at future
skills of flow, freeport, Global Centre of Rail Excellence. The goal is to
ensure that the communities of Swansea Bay City Region have the appropriate
skills to access long term jobs for future generations.
advised that this bridges the gap between industry and academia and helps
significantly in helping companies developing their products. There has been
work done on this in the last 12 months. Members were advised that there are 6
or 7 catapults in England, 2 in Scotland and none in Wales. Officers are
talking to Welsh Government about having a catapult in Wales and how officers
can use some of their systems to then link up and be a bit more ambitious.
Officers advised that they see this as a fundamental project going forward not
just in Neath Port Talbot but across the region and South Wales as a whole.
Officers said this is slightly more ambitious that initially thought.
wanted to understand more about the breakdown of the demographic of the people
these jobs would go to and who would benefit from the training.
explained that it would be across the board, people already in employment,
school leavers, young people, all the way through to upskilling existing
members of the workforce. This also allows companies to develop products in the
advanced manufacturing centre. Officers also highlighted then the skills
element on the side. They believe this compliments
used the example of Coventry in the MTC (Manufacturing Technology Centre) where
they were producing 200 - 300 high quality apprentices every year and that
helps the local industries there develop. Officers said that that is an area
that is critically short on skills development.
highlighted that due to the economy this is a period of transition with people
moving into new areas of employment and asked whether this is an opportunity
for people via Welsh Government training schemes, to re-skill and move into a
different sector should they wish. Members asked officers if they people could
do so. Officers said that is the case.
also highlighted the potential to retain high quality jobs in Port Talbot from
the decarbonisation of the Steel Works, as people will be looking for
re-deployment from the heavy side of the industry to renewable energy.
asked about the £5,300,000 allocation as stated in the report and asked Chris
Moore to confirm that no money has been released as part of this yet.
Moore advised that when City Deal was structured originally, the funding was
allocated to NPT. Because NPT has realigned some of its schemes and had taken
slightly different projects, that released this amount. It was felt, as per the
joint agreement, that it was sensible and appropriate to allow NPT to come
forward with an amended scheme first. Officers advised that they wouldn’t release any of the funding until they had a
substantive project in place and this is part of the £240,000,000 that was
originally allocated and its gone back to NPT for first opportunity at using
The report was noted.