There are currently 5 enterprise zones in Wales with plans for two more in Gwynedd and Pembrokeshire by Edwina Hart (Business Minister for the Welsh Assembly). There have been calls for an enterprise zone to be created in Newport where a petition has been handed into the Senedd for reasons that haven’t been made clear yet.
Anglesey: Primarily to do with Wylfa B but also a number of sites around the island are being considered in the energy and environment sector to be supported by this Zone.
Cardiff: The zone boundary in the city is aligned to the central business district and aims to establish an internationally competitive destination for financial and professional services with all the advantages the zone gives in order to help the local economy.
Deeside: The zone includes Deeside and the Airbus wing-making facility at Broughton and will focus on advanced manufacturing in order to be a replacement for the loss of heavy industry in Wales and also the reduction in jobs in the public sector in Wales.
Ebbw Vale: Working with local manufacturing companies to encourage growth in the local area.
Gwynedd: Use a site at Trawsfynydd to focus on the energy, environment and ICT sectors.
Pembrokeshire: The minister said more talks were needed with UK government over the Haven Waterway zone as it includes a crown port.
St Athan: Due to feedback the zone has been extended to include Cardiff Airport and other employment sites. The plan is to create a zone serving the aerospace sector with investment in aircraft maintenance facilities, international travel and route development, high quality business accommodation, and links to academia.
In other news, there are plans by Gwynedd County Council to sell off MENTEC (an enterprise centre) which currently houses 12 businesses in the building that is next to Deiniol library. it’s just surprising at a time when the Welsh Assembly is introducing these enterprise zones and the economy both local and national needs help that the Council decides to sell of this tool of stimulating growth in the local economy. Llyr B Jones, Gwynedd Council’s economy and community senior manager, said: “There is no truth to the claim that Mentec is to be sold in the immediate future. The council is reviewing and updating the management arrangements for the centre and, as part of this process, we are meeting with tenants to discuss the various options for the future” Why is there a need to discuss the future of Mentec when as far as I’m aware it seems to be running fine and is a good secure place from which local businesses can grow.