Andrew Percy MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Guto Bebb MP, Under Secretary of State for Wales visited Chester’s City Place yesterday (17th November) to meet with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Mersey Dee Alliance (MDA), the leaders of Flintshire County Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council and representatives from the business community.
The visit follows a meeting with the Northern Powerhouse Minister earlier this month in London.
Said Councillor Samantha Dixon, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council: “This was a welcome opportunity as a gateway to the Northern Powerhouse to demonstrate how Chester is a great place to do business.
“The agenda included the MDA ambitions, cross border importance and the programme of priorities as outlined in the MDA’s draft prospectus”.
Chairman of the MDA and Flintshire County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Councillor Derek Butler, said:“Today’s visit highlights our commitment to ensure our unique cross-border economy is recognised as part of the Northern Powerhouse conversations and demonstrates our successful established partnership. The Mersey Dee Alliance is unique – it’s the only cross-border alliance and has a vibrant economy across all sectors.
“Our Growth Track 360 rail investment campaign is an example of partners in the public and private sector supporting a clear infrastructure vision which will help our area to recognise fully its growth potential. It’s also important to note our campaign for two growth bids in North Wales and Cheshire as we aim for more connectivity in education and employment opportunities.”
Other key priorities of the MDA discussed at the meeting included employment growth, infrastructure, current and future skills needs and the importance of energy and science to the regional economy, including the ongoing development of three enterprise zones in Deeside, Ellesmere Port and Wirral.
Following the meeting in Chester, businesses on both sides of the border were visited by the ministers; Electro Impact UK a Hawarden based aerospace engineering business and EA Technology a company specialising in asset management solutions for owners and operators of electrical assets in Capenhurst. The Ministers also met with the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership during the visit to EA Technology.