MONMOUTHSHIRE’S ageing population could harm its standing within the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) City Deal, a report has warned.

With a shrinking working population and the oldest median age – 48 – in the CCR, there are concerns Monmouthshire is vulnerable to being ‘less economically active’ than other authorities.

The county has a small-scale economy compared to others in the region, with economic output and employment growth growing at a slower rate compared to regional and national averages.

Such trends have been identified in research commissioned by Monmouthshire County Council which suggests the local economy could be put at risk without ‘significant’ intervention.

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The study, titled ‘Economies of the Future Analysis’, says: “Continuing with on-trend growth would mean that Monmouthshire would continue to lose ground compared to other economies.

“Furthermore, the ageing population of Monmouthshire suggests that the county is vulnerable to losing further ground as the working age population shrinks

“It is an appropriate time for Monmouthshire to consider the City Deal’s opportunities for the county and how it can be leveraged to address the structural issues that are holding back Monmouthshire’s economy.”

Two options have been suggested to boost economic growth: match UK growth rates or enact radical, structural economic change.

The former will mainly focus on economic development by aiming to create 2,900 jobs by 2037 through improving underperforming sectors and productivity.

The latter, described as an ‘all-in’ option, would use elements of the first approach but will include further strategies for the provision of extra land for housing – including a new settlement – and employment.

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It is hoped the alternative strategy would create between 5,000 and 10,700 jobs during the same period, while increasing the population by 20,000. But both options are expected to put increased pressure on the housing market in Monmouthshire.

The report says: “Either approach will require significant interventions, resources and investments over the coming years.

“It will require a whole-of-council approach to achieving the changes, along with engagement from the private sector, regional and national bodies and public institutions.”

The economy and development select committee will discuss the report on February 14.