Wales is never big in the headlines but today there’s change because Secretary of State, Simon Hart has outlined plans to deliver thousands of jobs, digital infrastructure and green industries specifically to Welsh communities.
Expanding on Boris’ plans to build back better, Mr Hart wants to see Wales boosted by providing financial backing for green industries, supporting jobs growth and working towards net zero. He wants the Government in Wales to operate at community level ensuring local authorities and Welsh business is at the forefront of delivering these projects.
From a hydrogen hub at Holyhead to floating windfarms in the sea, the intention is for the Government to really shift gears in Wales, moving away from reliance on farming, steel and tourism and seeking to kick start a net-zero economy with plenty of skilled jobs for the future.
Projects will include:
- Investing, more than £40m to support a cluster of industries in South Wales to transition to net-zero.
- Investing £15.9m in low-carbon heavy goods vehicles which will be pioneered in Cwmbran.
- Moving more jobs in UK Government departments including the Home Office and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to locations in Wales.
- Making almost £5m available for the Holyhead Hydrogen Hub project to pilot the use of hydrogen in the transport sector.
- Investing up to £30m, subject to approvals, in the Global Centre of Rail Excellence to create a world class train testing and R&D facility in the Dulais Valley.
- Supporting the emergence of floating offshore wind, with the Crown Estate holding a formal leasing round for floating offshore wind projects in the Celtic Sea.
- Implementing the new Levelling Up Fund which will invest up to £4.8 billion in local infrastructure across the UK that has a visible impact on people and their communities.
- Launching Project Gigabit, a £5bn connectivity programme to support the rollout of gigabit-capable broadband in the hardest to reach communities in Wales and across the UK.
- Continuing to improve rural connectivity via the Shared Rural Network, a £1 billion deal with the mobile network operators to deliver 80% 4G mobile coverage from all four operators across Wales and 95% coverage from at least one.
- Investing in Wales’ transport infrastructure including a further £2.7m to upgrade the digital signalling capability on the Cambrian Line.
- The delivery of the first-ever Freeport in Wales which could lead to thousands of new jobs.
Great news for Wales as the Secretary of State confirms:
The UK Government’s ability to act quickly and protect our economic future has been instrumental in saving jobs and livelihoods as vast swathes of our economy were shut down.
This includes the furlough scheme, which has protected more than 460,000 jobs in Wales and the Business Interruption and Bounce Back loan schemes which have also provided support worth over £2bn for Welsh businesses.
The UK Government has supported people and businesses across Wales through the worst of this pandemic and we will now do everything in our power to lead the way out of it.
We look forward to seeing Wales level up and overtake!