Alun Cairns: Defence market place is a major driving force for Wales’ economy
The vital combination of Wales’ skilled workforces and hi-tech manufacturing sites can be a major driving force for job creation and investment, Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns said today (30 March).
His call comes as Raytheon UK opens the doors to its new Hangar 119 at Hawarden Airport in North Wales – a facility which will foster the development of new, cutting edge capabilities for the British aerospace and defence sectors.
Raytheon UK employs 145 highly skilled aircraft integration and modification specialists at its site in Broughton and its airborne operations support a further 500 jobs across Wales.
Its technology is used in some of the most advanced aircraft surveillance and intelligence systems in the world, including the Sentinel aircraft system, the UK’s most advanced manned surveillance aircraft, delivered by the Broughton team to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
Raytheon’s continued investment in North Wales is yet another strong endorsement of the confidence the company has in the skills-base and the business environment in Wales, and is further proof that this country is very much open for business.
British products and services and - by extension - products and services produced in North Wales are in high demand. As a nation that is part of a strong United Kingdom, our global profile has never been higher.
Through the UK Government’s modern Industrial Strategy we plan to build on our strengths in these fields, to make Wales one of the most competitive areas in the UK to start and grow a business.
Richard Daniel, Raytheon UK chief executive said:
Our new facility in North Wales gives us tremendous potential and will enhance our economic impact in the region, where the company has contributed since 1993. We have created around 50 jobs in Broughton over the past 18 months, and anticipate the need for a further 200 over the next three years depending on export opportunities.
In its Green Paper, Building our Industrial Strategy, the UK Government has outlined ten key pillars of focus to be discussed as part of a 12 week consultation period, inviting contributions from industries, businesses, local groups and workers across Wales.
With a clear ambition of creating an economy that works for everyone, the Green Paper contains a number of proposed announcements set to benefit the Welsh regions such as:
The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and foundation of UKRI, creating new opportunities for Wales’ world class businesses and universities to bid for UK Government funding.
Recognising the excellence in research and innovation that exists across the UK, and investing an additional £4.7 billion by 2020-21.
Investing in digital infrastructure, which has for too long been a barrier to economic growth across Wales. Finding a sustainable way to support energy intensive industries such as steel with energy costs.
The Government has issued an open invitation to industries, businesses and local groups across Wales to visit the GOV.UK website and help set the priorities for a modern Industrial Strategy. The consultation period runs for 12 weeks after which the Government will consider responses before publishing a White Paper later in the year.