THE leader of Pembrokeshire County Council has headed to Swansea to hear more about the biggest ever investment for south west Wales – a total investment package of £241million.

Cllr Jamie Adams join UK and Welsh Government ministers to witness Prime Minister Theresa May sign the Swansea Bay City Deal along with members of the Swansea Bay City Region Board.

Leaders from Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire councils are celebrating having secured the £1.3billion deal that will transform the economic landscape of the area, boost the local economy by £1.8billion, and generate almost 10,000 new jobs over the next 15 years.

Eleven major projects will now get underway, delivering world-class facilities in the fields of energy, smart manufacturing, innovation and life science, with major investment in the region’s digital infrastructure and workforce skills and talent underpinning each.

The total investment package is made up of £241million of UK and Welsh Government funding, £396million of other public sector money and £637million from the private sector.

The Swansea Bay City Region Board - including the four local authorities together with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Hywel Dda University Health Boards, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity St David’s, and private sector companies - worked under the Chairmanship of Sir Terry Matthews for over a year to develop and submit the City Deal proposal to the Welsh and UK Governments.

It culminated in a pitch to Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, and other UK Ministers and their advisors, following months of rigorous challenge and negotiation.

Pembrokeshire is involved in three key schemes as part of the City Deal.

Spearheaded by the Port of Milford Haven, Pembroke Dock Marine is a £76million project to establish a marine energy centre around the Milford Haven waterway.

The world class facility will be the centre for marine energy development, fabrication, testing and deployment in the town’s naval dockyard.

The other two schemes - which will be rolled out across the whole region - involves improving broadband and mobile continuity and creating a new industry based around innovative and sustainable energy generation.

Councillor Jamie Adams said the investment was “a massive step-change” for the local authority areas and would lay the platform for the creation of thousands of new jobs.

Councillor Adams and Chief Executive, Ian Westley, have been granted delegated authority to sign a Swansea Bay City Region agreement on behalf of the Council.

Cllr Adams, said: "Today’s announcement is the culmination of several years hard work by the Leaders, Chief Executives and officers not only from the region’s local authorities but also those from universities, health boards and the private sector.

“This has involved high-level discussions and consensus across different councils and organisations as well as embracing various and diverse political groups.

“We have all been working towards a common purpose and to ensure that the resulting bid was not only acceptable to both the Welsh and UK governments but that both governments demonstrate their commitment to the deal – and they have done.

“Indeed the £241 million contribution from central government has been a key component in accessing other funding, particularly from the private sector, which otherwise would not have been easily available.

“As well as providing new jobs, I believe the massive amount of investment which has been approved will help us to retain our young people when they leave school.

“For many years now Pembrokeshire has suffered because once they finish their education, our children have to move out of the county in search of work.”

Councillor Adams said the Pembroke Dock Marine scheme would create a world class centre for marine energy development, fabrication, testing and deployment in the town’s naval dockyard.

He said the two other projects, which will also directly benefit Pembrokeshire, were equally exciting.

“One of the advantages of the £55 million Internet Coast – Digital Infrastructure scheme is that it will improve mobile phone coverage and broadband continuity in the region” Councillor Adams explained.

“This will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the daily lives of many of our residents living in the rural areas of Pembrokeshire.

“It will also provide a tremendous boost for businesses in this part of the world. The aim is to deliver what is called a ‘hyper-connectivity’ agenda whereby people and machines are all communicating with one another and able to exchange information, even in the most rural parts of the county.

“The target is to achieve 100 per cent coverage over the region and provide access to the next generation of broadband services.”