New Enterprise Zone created to boost local economy

Welsh GovernmentEconomy Minister Edwina Hart has announced the establishment of the Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone to help create economic growth and jobs for the area.

The Enterprise Zone status will offer financial incentives to companies based there, including tax and business rate breaks, and was one of the key actions to come out of the Tata Steel Task Force to help support the steel industry.

The Minister said: “The recent announcement of job losses at Tata in Port Talbot is the latest blow to the steel industry in Wales.

As such a major employer this will have a knock-on effect for the local economy and we are determined to do all that we can to support the area and the local supply chain.

We will now work closely with the Swansea Bay City Region, the Local Authority, major employers and other stakeholders in the area to ensure Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone is a success.”

The Enterprise Zone will be based around the employment sites of:

  • Baglan Energy Park

  • Baglan Industrial Estate and

  • Habourside / Port Talbot Docks.

Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone is Wales’ eighth Enterprise Zone. As of end of September 2015, the other seven Zones had created, assisted or safeguarded over 7,795 jobs in Wales and paved the way for further investment and development.

HS2 talks business to boost the trades

HS2 talks business to boost the tradesHigh Speed Two Ltd and representatives from the Welsh Government will be in Cardiff this week to kick-start £10 billion worth of contracts to build Britain’s largest infrastructure project.

The event, hosted by the Welsh Government, presents companies with an excellent opportunity to find out more about HS2’s procurement process and will ensure that they have all the information required to bid for contracts.

Work on the first phase of the project is scheduled to start in 2017 and, at the peak of construction more than 40,000 people are expected to be working on the scheme.

Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport said: “HS2 is an extremely significant investment in rail infrastructure that offers excellent supply chain prospects for companies in Wales.

Our manufacturing, construction and civil engineering companies have considerable expertise and a track record of delivering excellent service and products that can add value to this project and create economic benefits for Wales.”

Beth West, HS2 Ltd Commercial Director, said: “Building HS2 is a massive long-term project, one that offers a huge opportunity for Welsh businesses to bid for £10bn worth of contracts, boosting jobs and skills across the country.

To deliver a project of HS2’s scale and complexity we are committed to working with Welsh companies. I am extremely pleased that so many Welsh firms have already shown an interest in helping to deliver HS2 and I would encourage all businesses large or small to get involved.”

Tickets can be applied for through the Business Wales Events website.

Investment from Japan to create 100 Deeside jobs

Investment from Japan to create 100 Deeside jobsJapan’s largest manufacturer of savoury snacks, Calbee, is making its first investment in Europe and opening a new facility on Deeside Enterprise Zone that will create more than 100 jobs.

The news was announced in Japan last week by Economy Minister Edwina Hart and Akira Matsumoto, Chairman and CEO of Calbee, following a meeting to finalise the deal.

The significant investment, which is backed by business finance from the Welsh Government, is a direct result of the Minister meeting Calbee senior executives last year when she led a trade mission to Japan.

Long-term commitment

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “I am delighted to announce this important new inward investment for Wales. Calbee is the latest in a long line of highly prestigious Japanese companies that have invested in Wales and I welcome their decision to establish their first European plant in Wales.

“It is also the latest international inward investment project for Deeside Enterprise Zone which proved to be the most attractive location as a number of sites in Europe and the UK were under consideration.

“We have a very successful food manufacturing sector in Wales and this investment will support our strategy to grow and expand the industry, creating more jobs and prosperity and I wish Calbee every success for the future.”

Mr. Akira Matsumoto said:“We are very excited to establish our first European factory  in Wales. This is a significant moment in establishing the Calbee brand in the UK and we are making a long term commitment to grow our business from this important base in Deeside.

“I appreciate both the Welsh Government and everyone’s dedication and support for its  successful establishment.”

The new site will incorporate manufacturing, distribution and some R&D activities with the investment set to create hundreds of jobs over five years. Production is set to commence in the first half of 2015.

Minister opens factory that will create 220 jobs

Minister opens factory that will create 220 jobsTenneco-Walker’s second factory in the Heads of the Valleys – which is to create 220 jobs – has been officially opened by Welsh Economy Minister Edwina Hart.

The multi-million pound investment in the new facility on High Point, Dowlais Top, Merthyr, was backed with business finance from the Welsh Government which secured the project for Wales.

Tenneco-Walker, part of Tenneco Inc., a global US headquartered company, has already created over 100 jobs at Merthyr and is set to create an additional 120 jobs for which it is currently recruiting.  Tenneco’s Tredegar factory employs just under 190 people.

Both sites manufacture motor vehicle exhaust systems for car manufacturers and the decision to increase capacity follows the award of business for new and replacement exhaust systems.

The Minister said:”I am delighted to open this new factory and to hear that so many jobs have already been created. It is great news for Merthyr, great news for Wales and a very welcome addition to our strong manufacturing sector in Wales.

“I congratulate the company, the local management and staff on the very rapid expansion of the business in Wales. This project was only announced in May and just a matter of months later it is a fully functioning factory.

“Tenneco-Walker’s decision to open another factory in the vicinity reflects the productivity, loyalty and calibre of the staff they employ. It is a major vote of confidence in Wales and I am delighted that support from the Welsh Government helped encourage the investment here as other locations were under consideration .”

The new Merthyr factory is 13,500 sq mts – twice the size of the Tredegar plant – and the expansion will help increase manufacturing capacity to meet orders for new vehicles being produced in the UK by Jaguar Land Rover, Renault and Nissan. To date £5.4m has been invested on the expansion project to upgrade the premises and install new facilities and equipment

Plant manager Jonathan Williams said:“Tenneco has invested in a world class, fully functioning factory with excellent employee facilities and the very latest equipment.

“Support from the Welsh Government strengthened the business case to bring this investment to Wales and we can now look forward to a more secure future with a strong order book. We anticipate both factories will be close to full capacity at the end of next year.

“Jaguar Land Rover, one of our key customers, is going from strength to strength and we are delighted that  a large number of their vehicles are fitted with Tenneco exhaust systems that are made in Wales. We are excited to have also won business to supply a new generation of systems to Renault and to General Motors for its new Astra model which launches next summer.”

Welsh Government helps to create 60 new jobs

The Welsh GovernmentWelsh Economy Minister Edwina Hart has visited the Village Bakery in Wrexham with UK Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Green to announce more than 60 new jobs at the rapidly-expanding business.

More than 20 new jobs have already been created at Village Bakery – with a further 40 to follow – as a result of a £1.8 million expansion supported by the Welsh Government.

The investment will more than double staff numbers at the site and enable the business to increase capacity, invest in equipment and introduce additional lines to take advantage of new contracts from major supermarkets.

Mrs Hart said: “This is excellent news. This investment and expansion will not only support the growth of the business and is already creating new jobs, but will bring additional benefits to the Welsh economy through increased supply chain activity.

“I am pleased financial support from the Agri Food Development Fund enabled The Village Bakery to respond swiftly to maximise commercial opportunities as they arose with their key customers. It is another example of how the Welsh Government is helping business growth and job creation.”

During a tour of the facility MD Robin Jones spoke of the company’s ambitions to grow the business and said: “We were recently recognised as Wales’ fastest growing company and have a desire to continue this rapid growth and have an appetite for expansion.”

The Village Bakery, which is based in a 30,000 sq ft unit on Wrexham Industrial Estate, began trading in 2011 and has seen turnover increase from £400,000 to £6 million.