Leader unveils plans for Northern Powerhouse for Wales
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has today used a lecture in Bangor to unveil her party's plans for a Northern Powerhouse for Wales.
Speaking to an audience mainly comprising of Bangor University students, Leanne Wood outlined a threefold approach to invest in infrastructure, introduce plans for Welsh capitals, and legislate on securing opportunities for all parts of Wales.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said
"Plaid Cymru wants a Northern Powerhouse for Wales.
"Our basis for building a Northern Powerhouse for Wales is threefold:
"Prioritising infrastructure investment in the North such as the electrification of the North Wales Main Line, a third bridge across the Menai, improvements to major roads and the rolling out fast broadband access.
"Secondly, I am announcing today that Plaid Cymru will introduce plans for roving and permanent niche Welsh capitals.
"We will consult on how this can be achieved and will publish our final plans in our manifesto for the National Assembly elections next year.
"Our vision is for population centres across Wales and especially in the North to benefit from being Welsh capitals of culture, arts, finance for example on a permanent or roving basis such as the model for UK City of Culture or along the lines of the model in France, where towns and regions become known for being home to a specific area of expertise or significant national importance.
"By opening up opportunities for towns and cities across Wales, we can spread the prospects for all communities to benefit from Wales’ national success.
"Thirdly, Plaid Cymru will introduce legislation when we lead the next government of Wales to enshrine the opportunities for all parts of Wales into law.
In our Northern Powerhouse Bill we will enshrine in law strategic aims for our government that will include:
- Per capita job creation in the North to at least match that of Wales as a whole;
- Increase per capita income in – and within – North Wales so that is in step with the rest of the nation and the EU average;
- Develop and improve infrastructure on a continuing basis and ensure a fair share of national investment in infrastructure for the North of Wales;
- Ensure that a fair share of government contracts come to companies and that small businesses are helped to compete for such contracts.
"After all, small businesses are the backbone of our economy – and together with tourism and agricultural sector, are vital for our economic success.
"Secure and strengthen the linguistic and cultural character and the natural environment of the region so it is inherited by future generations.
"While at the same time making it clear that our doors are open to everyone, from whatever part of the world, to join us here and help us build the new Wales.
"When Plaid Cymru says we care about all parts of Wales, we mean it.
When Plaid Cymru says we’re serious about rebalancing power and wealth, we mean it."