Breast can­cer ex­pert to help guide the City Deal

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - Ian Lewis @IanLewis80 [email protected]­line.co.uk 07790 591150

A WORLDLEAD­ING breast can­cer ex­pert is help­ing guide a £1.3 bil­lion pro­gramme of in­vest­ment that is worth nearly 10,000 well-paid jobs to South West Wales.

Si­mon Holt, a re­cently re­tired con­sul­tant sur­gi­cal on­col­o­gist at Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hos­pi­tal, is among the pri­vate sec­tor spe­cial­ists on the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Eco­nomic Strat­egy Board.

Also in­clud­ing Scar­lets chair­man Nigel Short, the board is tasked with pro­vid­ing guid­ance to the City Deal’s de­ci­sion-mak­ing Joint Com­mit­tee.

Each board mem­ber – whose roles are un­paid - brings spe­cific ex­per­tise in the life sci­ence, busi­ness, fi­nance, hous­ing, en­ergy and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors.

Mr Holt, a Cam­bridge Univer­sity grad­u­ate who led the team be­hind the de­vel­op­ment and open­ing of Prince Philip Hos­pi­tal’s breast care unit, says the City Deal gives an op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther boost the Swansea Bay City Re­gion’s life sci­ence sec­tor.

He said: “When the po­ten­tial im­pact of the city deal on lo­cal em­ploy­ment was ex­plained to me – and the in­clu­sion of the Well­ness Vil­lage project in Llanelli, in par­tic­u­lar – I de­cided to ap­ply to be on the eco­nomic strat­egy board.

“I have no doubt that the city deal could be tremen­dously ben­e­fi­cial to South West Wales be­cause of its abil­ity to at­tract even more jobs and pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment.

“Once the in­vest­ment is in place then our life sci­ence sec­tor is cer­tainly one that can even fur­ther de­velop be­cause the Swansea Bay City Re­gion of­fers so many ad­van­tages.”

Life sciences is among the themes of the Swansea Bay City Deal, which is pro­jected to boost the re­gional econ­omy by £1.8 bil­lion in com­ing years. Car­marthen­shire Coun­cil is cur­rently work­ing on an al­ter­na­tive de­liv­ery model for the Well­ness Vil­lage project, which will com­bine well­ness, med­i­cal re­search and leisure ser­vices on an in­te­grated site at Delta Lakes in Llanelli.

The Eco­nomic Strat­egy Board, he says, has an im­por­tant role to play. Chaired by Ed Tomp, man­ag­ing direc­tor and vice-pres­i­dent of Valero UK, other board mem­bers in­clude Pobl Group chief ex­ec­u­tive Amanda Davies, In­dus­try Wales ex­ec­u­tive chair James Davies, and River­sim­ple fi­nan­cial direc­tor Chris Fox­all.

As well as his ex­per­tise in life sciences, Mr Holt also cites his strong links with uni­ver­si­ties and re­search as fac­tors which make him as as­set to the board.

Mr Holt, who lives in Car­marthen­shire, said: “The Eco­nomic Strat­egy Board will help iden­tify how City Deal projects can best be linked, while ex­plor­ing how the City Deal can act as a cat­a­lyst for fur­ther pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ment and eco­nomic growth. This could then trans­late into jobs for lo­cal peo­ple.”

The in­vest­ment pro­gramme is be­ing led by the four Swansea Bay City Re­gion lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, the two re­gional health boards, Swansea Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of Wales Trin­ity Saint David.

Be­fore mov­ing to Prince Philip Hos­pi­tal in 1990, Mr Holt was a con­sul­tant sur­geon in the Royal Air Force, where he also ran its on­col­ogy unit.

Si­mon Holt, a re­cently re­tired con­sul­tant sur­gi­cal on­col­o­gist at Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hos­pi­tal.

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