Western ‘powerhouse’ conference will explore ways of generating green growth for super-region

February 11, 2022

The first major event staged by the Western Gateway economic partnership takes place next month to bring together key figures from business, academia and local and national government on both sides of the Severn to explore the potential of the cross–border powerhouse.

Called Green Growth within the Western Gateway, the day-long conference will discuss ways businesses, universities and local authorities can work together to level up communities and create a greener, fairer future for all across the West of England and South Wales. 

The event will be led by the Western Gateway Partnership, the pan-regional group that stretches from Swindon to Swansea and includes the cities of Bristol and Cardiff.

The partnership aims to champion success, tackle shared problems and create opportunities for the 4.4m people living within its boundaries.

It was launched two years ago as the UK’s third regional powerhouse to secure similar economic benefits to the West of England and South Wales as the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.

The conference, which takes place on March 8 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Wales in Newport, will hear from a range of speakers, including British Business Bank CEO Catherine Lewis La Torre, Simon Gibson CBE, 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.

Western Gateway Partnership chair Katherine Bennett CBE said: “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.”

She said Green Growth in the Western Gateway would give business, research and academia the chance to get together with public authorities on both sides of the border to influence the way the partnership aims to create growth and new opportunities.

“We want to level up communities and help our area reach net zero. This is a chance to take part and help us achieve our goal,” she added.

The conference will explore how the area can level up communities at risk of being left behind, become the UK’s first green energy super cluster and capitalise on investment in green innovation.

To see the conference agenda and for details on how to register, visit the Western Gateway conference page


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