Neil will lead the group responsible for acting as the voice for businesses to influence future economic growth and development within the South-East Wales region. SNC-Lavalin acquired Faithful+Gould, as part of WS Atkins PLC, on July 3, 2017.
Commenting on his appointment, Neil said: “The Business Council will play a pivotal role in shaping the development and continued prosperity of the region, helping to ensure that the business community has a strong voice that is heard by the regional leaders and the Capital Region Cabinet.
“The members of the Business Council board are drawn from across the entire region, and encompass a broad range of business backgrounds and sectors, including representatives from The Federation Small Businesses, Institute of Directors, Confederation of British Industry and South Wales Chamber. This breadth of knowledge, skills and expertise will deliver a strong business voice to guide both the design and delivery of significant economic development and regeneration activities across the region.”
The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, which will be shaped by the Business Council and its members, has already agreed to invest £37.9m to support the development of a compound semiconductor industry cluster, and will aim to create jobs and boost the economic growth by tackling unemployment, productivity, investment in infrastructure and provide support for local businesses. They will also ensure that the region benefits from any economic growth generated because of the Deal.
The project, which is being funded from the Cardiff Capital Region Deal’s Wider Investment Fund, will leverage up to £375m of private sector investment over the next five years and will create up to 2,000 high tech jobs.
Neil’s role will include leading the Council, chairing board meetings, translating the views of key stakeholders to recommendation from the board to the Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet meeting, attended by up to ten local authority leaders.