A detailed job description will now be finalised before an advert is placed for candidates.

The appointment will meet a recommendation of two reviews into the City Deal aimed at speeding up the investment programme’s delivery.

Also approved at a meeting of the City Deal’s Joint Committee is the designation of the City Deal’s regional office as a portfolio management office with expertise in major project management.

The independent programme director will lead the portfolio management office.

All recommendations arising from the reviews are being progressed.

The City Deal’s Economic Strategy Board, which gives specialist private sector guidance to Joint Committee, will also be expanded. Board members will be tasked with focussing on opportunities the City Deal presents as a catalyst for further investment and economic growth.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Deal’s Joint Committee, said: “By accepting all recommendations of both the independent and internal reviews into the City Deal, Joint Committee is recognising the need for change.

“This is essential if we’re to deliver the major City Deal projects and thousands of well-paid jobs as soon as possible for the benefit of residents and businesses in South West Wales.

“Key to moving forward is the appointment of an independent programme director, who will be the main advisor to Joint Committee and other City Deal governance groups across the City Region.

“We’ll be looking for a proven, top quality professional to deliver this game-changing investment programme and raise the profile of the City Deal throughout the City Region, the UK and overseas.”

Sign-off of City Deal funding for two projects is also anticipated within weeks.

Cllr Stewart said: “We’re expecting approvals for the Yr Egin and Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District projects imminently from both governments.

“Detailed business planning work on all other City Deal projects is also continuing.”

The Swansea City and Waterfront Digital District project is made up of a digital indoor arena and digital plaza at a site adjacent to the LC, a digital village on Kingsway for tech and digitally-focussed businesses, and a box village and innovation precinct development at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David SA1 Waterfront.

With S4C as anchor tenant, the first phase of the Yr Egin creative and digital hub at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen is already open, with a second phase of work also planned.

Worth £1.8 billion to the regional economy and over 9,000 high-quality jobs, the City Deal will be funded by the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the public sector and the private sector. The City Deal is being led by the four Swansea Bay City Region local authorities, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea University, Swansea Bay University Health Board, and Hywel Dda University Health Board.