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Stephen Crabb MP marks his first official visit to north Wales today with visits to Airbus and Magellan Aerospace (UK) Limited.
Speaking ahead of his visit he said:
This government understands the vital contribution that North Wales makes to the Welsh economy and the important role that it is playing to secure the success of our long-term economic plan.
As the new Welsh Secretary I will be using every opportunity to champion North Wales - whether through continuing improvements to the region’s infrastructure, securing new investment or promoting North Wales’ diverse industries and highly skilled workforce.
The recent announcement of the £10.4 million upgrade to the Halton Curve rail line and the £1.2 million deal to boost Arriva Trains services are the most recent examples of the government’s recognition of the economic importance of North Wales.
Mr Crabb is also using his visit to highlight the region as a centre for excellence in aerospace and defence engineering, commending the skills, talents and capabilities of the workforce in this sector.
Wings for the A330neo aircraft will be made at Airbus’ Broughton plant in North Wales which employs 6,000 people.
Mr Crabb said:
The North Wales aerospace industry is the jewel in the crown of the Welsh economy. Yesterday’s announcement that Broughton Airbus is continuing orders for its A330neo aircraft reaffirms the key role that this industry plays in the Welsh and wider UK economy. . I am also looking forward to meeting some of the young people taking part in Broughton Airbus’ new apprenticeship programme to see for myself how it is developing a talented and sustainable workforce for the future.
Head of Long Range Wing at Airbus Steve Crawford said:
Airbus’ recent success at Farnborough, including the launch of the A330neo last week with more than 120 commitments from airlines, marks the start of another exciting chapter for the Broughton plant and for UK manufacturing.
We’re delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for Wales to our state of the art facility so he can see, first-hand, how important the aerospace sector is in Wales.
Mr Crabb will also be visiting Magellan Aerospace (UK) in Wrexham, which supplies aerospace structural components to Airbus, to highlight the importance of the aviation supply chain in North Wales.
Magellan Aerospace (UK) Limited Operations Manager Adrian Young said:
I am delighted that the Secretary of State for Wales has found the time to visit us at Wrexham. The business here in Wrexham has expanded significantly over the last few years and now employs more than 400 people.
I am pleased that we will have an opportunity to show the Secretary of State for Wales our capabilities and gain his support for our future investment plans in both people and equipment.
The aerospace industry employs more than 23,000 people across 130 companies in Wales. UK wide the industry is expected to grow at a rate of 6.8% over the next few years.
Mr Crabb said the government is committed to ensuring that the UK remains the number one aerospace manufacturer across Europe. He stressed that the UK Government would fight for every contract and every opportunity, working together with industry to capitalise on the enormous potential for growth.