For far too long the West, has in my view, sadly been in the wings when we talk about the economy of this region and its talents. For years, our story seems to have been submerged by the economic activities of the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine.
So, I was pleased to see our own powerhouse, the Western Gateway, well and truly get on the road at an inaugural conference at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.
Western Gateway is a pan-regional partnership stretching from Swansea in South Wales to Swindon and covering the core cities of Bristol and Cardiff.
In fact, Western Gateway is the first pan-regional partnership to bridge two countries-a great challenge but also a great opportunity.
That message was delivered to the conference by the government’s Levelling Up minister, Michael Gove.
“The prize within our grasp couldn’t be greater”, said Mr Gove.
“A boost of £34 billion for the UK economy by 2030 from improved productivity.
“The Western Gateway becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and a science superpower in its own right.
“A successful partnership across governments, across political parties, across the public and private sectors that’s leading the way in some of the biggest challenges we face-Levelling Up and achieving Net Zero.
“We are behind you all the way in this endeavour, because if the Western Gateway can rise to this, we all can”.
Michael Gove said he was aware that Western Gateway "have submitted a strong bid” to host the STEP nuclear fusion prototype plant at Oldbury and Berkeley which we have supported consistently in this column.
And he commented: ”This is a fantastic example of how the pan-regional partnership can add value at scale and I know the Secretary of State for Energy is looking forward to receiving the UKAEA’s recommendations later in the summer.
“But whatever the outcome, the Western Gateway has put itself firmly on the map when it comes to Green Energy, helping the UK blaze a trail to Net Zero and delivering fairer, greener growth”.
Yes, The Western Gateway is on its way.
Read more from Michael Gove's statement here.