Local Economy. Volume 36(1). pp 3–21.

In this paper, we consider the implications of applying the city region concept to a medium-sized city and whether such an application of a spatial and governmental policy is appropriate when the central city in question is also not necessarily economically dominant or connected to its wider city-region. This gives a deeper understanding to the process of subnational restructuring of the UK state via the production of city regions which has now been in progress since the 2010 Coalition Government. The primary focus governmentally and in academic literature has been on larger (English) city regions, but here we highlight how this has been applied in distinctive ways in devolved nations of the UK. To this end, we focus upon the case of the Swansea Bay City Region, based in South West Wales, looking through the lens of Welsh devolution and through the concept of the city-region as a scalar narrative for the delivery of economic development.