Policy Forum for Wales

Developing the 'Western Powerhouse' - the future for the Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Newport area

Morning, Monday, 10th September 2018

Newport Centre, 1 Kingsway, Newport NP20 1UH


The agenda includes keynote contributions from Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP, Secretary of State for Wales, UK Government; Tim Bowles, Metro Mayor of the West of England and Councillor Huw Thomas, Leader, Cardiff Council.

It will be an opportunity to consider what needs to be put in place to support the development of the Powerhouse concept and to underpin its success, including steps that can be taken to establish a shared vision and the foundations for effective governance and collaboration between local, regional and national bodies and governments.

Discussion will draw on examples of best practice in establishing regional partnerships from other areas of the UK, including what more might be done to improve digital and transport infrastructure to increase connectivity, deepen economic ties and develop the conditions for the increased economic growth in the region to support businesses and communities.

Further sessions will discuss how to address the challenges to meeting the skills needs of key sectors - in the context of two different education systems - and the way ahead for fostering partnerships and increasing collaboration between industry and universities to better promote research and innovation.

Guest of Honour

Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP

Secretary of State for Wales, UK Government

Guest of Honour

Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP

Secretary of State for Wales, UK Government


Mark Reckless AM


Tony Norris

Partner, Geldards

Dr Sarah Perkins

Director, GW4

Edward Hunt

Director, Openreach Cymru

Katharine Finn

Regional Leader, West & Wales, PwC

Councillor Tim Warren

Leader, Bath and North East Somerset Council

Dan Okey

Regional Development Manager, Great Western Railway

Frank Soodeen

Head of Public Affairs, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

David Hoare

PR & Communications Leader, GE Aviation Wales

Councillor Russell Goodway

Cabinet Member for Investment and Development, Cardiff Council

Ben Lucas

Managing Director, Metro Dynamics

Stephen Lawrence

Development Director, Mott MacDonald