2022 – 2024 Partnership with Bangor University

Following on from our successful debate series with Cardiff University, the Institute of Welsh Affairs proudly announces a new collaboration with another world-class Welsh University.

The IWA and Bangor University have begun a three-year partnership to deliver a series of virtual, in-person or hybrid events, which will contribute to influencing the public policy agenda across a range of issues, including:

  • The perceptions and realities of North Wales and the region’s social, economic and political relationships with the rest of the country and beyond
  • The porous boundary between North East Wales and North West England, and what it means for the migration of populations
  • Investment, innovation, the Levelling Up agenda and pre-devolution alliances

Through discussions gathering researchers and professionals from the private, public and third sectors, we will explore North Wales’ socioeconomic landscape and help shape discussions about its future. This will be an opportunity to showcase new research about the region and generate opportunities for debates about its future. All events will be open to the public, and recordings will be made available on our website.

This page will be updated regularly with news and events organised as part of the partnership. 

Our next event in partnership with Bangor University will take place on 19 March 2024. Register here.

The first event was a panel discussion taking place virtually on 31 March 2022 at 10am. The event explored what a declining working age population in North Wales means for future resilience both economic and social, and in terms of our health, wellbeing and well-becoming.

We were joined by:

  • Prof Rhiannon Tudor Edwards – Professor of Health Economics, Bangor University
  • Dr Sibani Roy – Founder, North Wales Regional Equality Network
  • Ceri Cunnington – Community Facilitator, Cwmni Bro Ffestiniog
  • Mario Kreft MBE – Chair, Care Forum Wales

You can also listen to the event as a podcast. The chat from the event is available here.

Our second event, held in Bangor on 6 October 2022, was a debate around the pros and cons of a potential tourist tax in Wales. The discussion tackled issues such as second home ownership and the sector’s future sustainability.

We were joined by:

  • Auriol Miller, Director, Institute of Welsh Affairs – Chair
  • Dr Edward Jones, Lecturer in Economics, Bangor University
  • Adrian Barsby, Deputy Chair, Wales Tourism Alliance
  • Emyr Williams, CEO, Snowdonia National Park
  • Dylan Williams, CEO, Anglesey County Council
  • Annette Pritchard, Professor of Tourism Management, Leeds Beckett University
  • Stephen Davies, CEO, The Welsh Whisky Company

The panel of speakers comprised Professor John Parkinson, Dean for the College of Human Sciences, Denise McQuade, Consul General of Ireland, Noel Mooney, Chief Executive, Football Association of Wales, and Desmond Clifford, Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister of Wales.

The event held in Cardiff Bay was hosted by Professor Andrew Edwards, Pro-Vice- Chancellor for Civic Mission and Welsh Language, with Auriol Miller, IWA Director chairing the panel session.

Professor Parkinson provided a presentation on the Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN) project, which brings the University together with other leading universities across Ireland and Wales.

Denise McQuade and Desmond Clifford offered their insights on the 2021-2025 Joint Action Plan between Welsh and Irish Governments, and how developments with Brexit negotiations affect political, economic and trading dynamics across the Irish Sea.

Noel Mooney discussed the positive influence of sport on people’s wellbeing, the importance of the Cymru identity during and after the FIFA World Cup, and lessons that Ireland can adopt from the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act. A Q&A session followed, with audience members providing questions on a wide range of issues, including the potential of further collaboration on energy projects, the challenges of maintaining trade with Irish partners post-Brexit, and how Wales can learn from Ireland’s marketing and brand profile success internationally.

Professor Andrew Edwards, said, ‘We’re delighted that the latest event in the partnership series with the Institute of Welsh Affairs was another resounding success. The post-Brexit relationship between Wales and Ireland was a crucial topic for discussion, and we were pleased to bring together experts from academia, government, and sports to offer their insights and perspectives. The discussions highlighted significant consensus on the opportunities and challenges that face both nations but also the unprecedented capacity for partnership working. We look forward to continuing this important dialogue and strengthening our collaborations with our Irish partners through the numerous initiatives such that are ongoing or in development at the University.’

The fourth event in our partnership with Bangor University was held on Anglesey on 5 October 2023. You can find a summary and analysis of the issues at stake on the welsh agenda online.

The fifth event in our partnership with Bangor University discussed the vital role of social enterprises and community ownership models in tackling local economic challenges. It was held on 19 March 2024. Read our analysis of the discussion on the welsh agenda.

A recording of the conversation is available on our podcast channel. Due to equipment issues of the day, please note that some of the recording remains hard to understand in parts. A transcription of the conversation is available here.

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