Independent investigation launched into Swansea City Deal

(Title Image: BBC Wales)

The Welsh and UK governments have ordered a joint independent investigation into the Swansea City Region deal following the suspension of senior Swansea University academics involved in the project.

The deal was signed off by both governments in March 2017 and at the heart of the investigation is a proposed £200million “Wellness Village” in Llanelli. The investigation is also said to focus on governance and due diligence. The Swansea City Region is chaired by Carmarthenshire Council Chief Executive, Mark James.

There have been concerns about the pace at which business plans have been developed, while one of the suspended academics, Prof. Marc Clement, was the former chief executive of Kent Neurosciences. The company signed an exclusivity deal with Carmarthenshire Council to be the development partner behind the Wellness Village in 2016 but has subsequently dissolved. Other Kent Neuroscience executives have been involved via other companies, one of which – Sterling Healthcare – has also withdrawn from the project as a development partner.

No private sector backers have been formally revealed either, though Carmarthenshire Council leader, Plaid Cymru’s Cllr. Emlyn Dole, said they were “satisfied that the project business case for the village is robust, but we need some further reassurance before finally signing it off.”