Businesses in Gwent are being encouraged to submit investment proposals to a new framework launched by the Cardiff Capital Region regional cabinet.

The 'Investment and Intervention Framework' focuses on the region’s three priorities, which include innovation, infrastructure and challenge, enabling maximum leverage of the £495m the CCR City Deal has available for investment.

The CCR City Deal is a catalyst for long-term economic revival, aiming for the whole region to become self-sufficient.

It includes the ten local authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Torfaen and Vale of Glamorgan.

Of the £1.2bn available, £734m is ringfenced for the South Wales Metro, and the remaining £495m is available for the funding of high-potential projects in the region through the new framework.

The bespoke three-priority approach has been developed in partnership with the investor community to leverage maximum economic and social benefits from the £495m.

The Innovation Priority, worth £220m, will look at proposals demonstrating unique intellectual property, market leadership and competitive strength. It will support propositions in targeted growth sectors that have the greatest potential for direct economic return on investment through job creation and GVA increase.

The Infrastructure Priority, worth £200m, will focus on targeted co-investment and pooling of resources to deliver maximum impact through the delivery of new physical and digital infrastructure projects including roads, public transport, broadband, skills, sites or testbeds.

The Challenge Priority, worth £75m, will seek to stimulate the adoption of new products and solutions in south east Wales. It will look at growing new markets and welcomes proposals that emerge from competitive spaces where more than one organisation or individual might be equipped to deliver, in order to offer more flexibility and scope for experimentation.

The three-way funding model aims to build a delivery pipeline with partners, within and beyond the Cardiff Capital Region, while focusing on the priorities outlined in the Industrial and Economic Plan, which was launched earlier this year.

Frank Holmes, chairman of the CCR Economic Growth Partnership, said: “Our overarching goal is to improve Cardiff Capital Region’s business environment through strategic, targeted investments.

“These three priorities will enable us to target and select projects linked to the Industrial and Economic Plan’s growth objectives, which bring high return on investments and help keep the City Deal ever-green; back public sector-led infrastructure projects which are necessary to attract and enable investment in the region; and encourage the generation of innovative solutions.

“We are optimistic that Cardiff Capital Region can become one of the most investable regions within the UK, and we look forward to receiving and originating the proposals which will contribute to make it happen.”

Two key investments have already been agreed by the City Deal.

In May 2017, the Regional Cabinet already agreed to invest £38.5m to assist the development of a compound semiconductor industry cluster in the region, and in January 2018 it agreed in principle to commit £40m to endorse the proposed £180m Metro Central Development, a project that will deliver a new Central Transport Interchange at the heart of Cardiff’s city centre Core Employment Zone.