UK Government Minister Stuart Andrew will make his first official visit to North Wales today (Thursday 25 January) to underline the UK Government’s vision for the region and to throw his weight behind the drive for a North Wales Growth Deal.
Mr Andrew will meet members of the North Wales Growth Deal project team at Glyndwr University to discuss the ongoing progress of the plans for the Deal.
Minister Andrew will also be visiting OpTIC where he will be joined by Minister for Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry.
The OpTIC Technology Centre has been a hub for world-leading science and innovation since Wrexham Glyndwr University acquired the site in 2009. It is owned and run by the university and home to 18 businesses and more than 100 staff. These include Glyndwr Innovations, a leading provider of innovative product development engineering and technology consulting.
Speaking ahead of the visit, Minister Andrew said:
As the new UK Government Minister for Wales, I will be using every opportunity to champion the contribution every corner of Wales is making to the growth we are seeing in our economy.
From the businesses creating jobs, to the University that is competing with some of the world’s best institutions, the UK Government understands the vital contribution the region is making to secure the success of our long-term economic plan.
The North Wales Growth Deal is a UK Government budget commitment. It sets out a vision for the region with the aims of creating 5,300 jobs and attracting private sector investment to the value of £1bn in the region over the next 15 years.
Plans have been supported by the region’s six council leaders and chief executives, and today’s meeting at Glyndwr University is an opportunity for the project team to present their plans to the new Minister.
Mr Andrew added:
The North Wales growth deal will have a transformational effect on the way our towns and villages in North Wales govern themselves - shifting powers from London and Cardiff to local leaders who are better placed to take decisions that affect their communities.
Successful Growth Deals are built on big ideas to unlock growth across cities and their wider economic areas. They work best when everyone in the local area, including civic, business and higher education leaders, come together to tell Government what needs to change and what can be done better.
With the launch of the Industrial Strategy last year there has never been a better time for businesses and local authorities to seize the opportunity to come together. UK Government is here to support and work with companies and groups on the ground as they develop a bespoke deal that works for the whole of North-Wales.
Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth Minister Jake Berry said:
This government has invested £3.4bn across the UK through highly successful Growth Deals which have fostered the right economic conditions for local areas to flourish. I look forward to working with the Minister to drive this exciting opportunity for North Wales forward over the coming months.
The Ministers will also be visiting the Menai Science park.