Local Growth Zones (LGZs) were coined in a policy proposal by the Centre for Cities in February 2011 in anticipation of plans in England to reintroduce enterprise zones to stimulate economic growth. Rather than establishing enterprise zones with predefined incentives, a suite of interventions can be made available to LGZs, from simplified planning processes to funding towards skills support, to be trialled with the objective of encouraging and supporting jobs and economic growth. While enterprise zones are industry-specific and require a concentration of skills and resources, LGZs support all business sectors in a defined geographical area and can therefore be easily integrated into an existing local business landscape and is more suitable to a rural economy which may not have the critical mass of businesses within a single sector to generate economic growth and jobs.
A Task and Finish Group was set-up by the Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport in July 2013 to consider the potential for a Local Growth Zone in the Teifi Valley in Rural West Wales. Its remit was to consider policy options to encourage and support jobs, economic growth and offer the opportunity of testing different types of interventions which are sensitive to the Teifi Valley’s local economic circumstances, growth challenges and prominent use of the Welsh language. Wavehill was commissioned to provide support to the Group which included:
Facilitating discussions during Group meetings;
Undertaking interviews with local stakeholders and businesses;
Issuing and analysing responses to a call for evidence on behalf of the Group; and
Drafting the report of the Group to the Minister.
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