DEVELOPMENT & INVESTMENT
We are focused on how people, communities and businesses can get more involved in shaping the future of our region, including the design and construction of major developments and strategic investments like the Swansea Bay City Deal. How can we make sure that major regional projects are delivered in a way that provides economic, social and environmental benefit over the long term? And how can we ensure that the well-being of people and planet is at the heart of decision-making?
DECARBONISING HOMES – A COLLECTIVE LEARNING JOURNEY IS NEEDED
Wales has set ambitious targets to decarbonise housing over the next decades, but there are enormous challenges. Not least is the need to development the skills and competence of the wider SME market in Wales, in terms of retrofit green skills. Huge opportunities existing for small businesses in the construction sector, if they can get a grip of what’s needed to transform the way homes use energy, heat and materials. Great career opportunities also exist for all those who are looking for an exciting growth sector in which to contribute.
REPORT | Decarbonising Homes – A Collective Learning Journey is Needed
DEVELOPMENT & CONSTRUCTION SECTOR FORUM
4theRegion invited member businesses and organisations in the development and construction sector to an online conversation to look collectively at the challenges our region is facing, discuss what’s needed and what we can do to help. Business leaders wanted more collaboration with local authorities, procurement that recognises what local firms can deliver, and opportunities to collaborate around addressing the skills shortage in the construction sector.
Development & Construction Members Forum
ACTIVE BUILDINGS WITH JOANNA CLARKE
We spoke to Joanna Clarke, design manager of Swansea University’s SPECIFIC project, for our #BuildBackBetter podcast. Joanna has developed the ‘Active Buildings Toolkit’ in order to share the principles and learnings from Active Buildings, with the aim of encouraging others to adopt or improve on them and to support wider uptake of low carbon designs. Active Buildings are buildings are designed to generate, store and release their own renewable energy. We discuss with Joanna the challenges that designers face when designing energy efficient buildings and how innovative projects such as SPECIFIC can lay the foundation for greener, cleaner development.
PODCAST | Active Buildings with Joanna Clarke
SWANSEA CITY CENTRE CONFERENCE
The Development & Investment Zone at the Swansea City Centre Conference was set to showcase the work of Coastal Housing Group, Pobl, Sero Homes, Kier Group, Swansea Bay City Deal and many others in our regional development sector. Unfortunately we were obliged to postpone the event due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s not clear how best to run this landmark event in a virtual way. In the meantime, we held an online conversation with our Zone Sponsors, about the immediate impact of the lockdown on the city centre.
Swansea City Centre Conference 2020 – Sponsors Conversation [Video]
PLANS FOR A REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE
Organised in Cardiff by BE Neworking, the Wales Development Conference featured speakers from a number of significant development projects in our region, including the Pentre Awel wellness village in Carmarthenshire, Hacer Developments’ biophillic building in Swansea city centre, the tidal lagoon and the new Swansea arena. This event highlighted the need for a regional development conference with a more interactive and purpose-driven format, to bring together all the people, projects and businesses involved in new developments across Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. There is so much happening and much to talk about!
THE ART OF THE POSSIBLE
In partnership with EFT Consult, 4theRegion convened a forum at The Grand Hotel in Swansea to talk about procurement and the importance of keeping regional spending in the region. Speakers reflected on what local authorities should learn from the collapse of Carillion, about the risks associated with the “outsourcing” model – and we discussed what the barriers are to ensuring more regional businesses can access major regional contracts. In a video interview, Deputy Minister Lee Waters reiterated the Welsh Government’s commitment to working in new ways to benefit local supply chains and strengthen the foundational economy.
Art of the Possible – Procurement Conference
PROCURING TRANSFORMATION EVENT SERIES
4theRegion has held a series of Appreciative Enquiries into Procurement. With diverse participants from the public and private sector, we’ve had engagement from Carmarthenshire Council, City Deal, Swansea Council, the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner in Welsh Government, and businesses including major contractors and a mix of smaller local businesses.
Procuring Transformation – Appreciative Enquiry Events
PROCUREMENT EMERGES AS A KEY THEME
4theRegion hosted Wales’ first Circular Economy conference at the Liberty Stadium, attracting over 300 businesses and organisations from a wide range of sectors. The focus of the Empowering Future Generations event was to explore the challenges and opportunities of implementing the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. Procurement emerged as a key theme: “Only when public bodies truly embed well-being principles into the way they evaluate and select their suppliers, will businesses be empowered to change.”
THE GROWTH FACTOR – DEVELOPMENT & INVESTMENT CONFERENCE
Back in 2017, Swansea Bay Futures organised a major conference at the Liberty Stadium to look at all opportunities arising out of major development projects and investments in the region. Bringing together over 200 local businesses, the event featured a business exhibition, and presentations from regional leaders. We also convened roundtable conversations to dive deep on some key themes, including Development. The full transcript from this discussion is available here.
Growth Factor | Development Round Table Report