Press release

Stephen Crabb and Alun Cairns visit MoD St Athan and the Vale Resort

Wales Office Ministers see historic No 4 School of Technical Training at MoD St Athan and the Wales rugby team at the Vale Resort.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb MP and Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns MP paid a visit to the No 4 School of Technical Training at MoD St Athan.

The Ministers, along with Wing Commander Robert Balls, were shown around the school which was the first unit to form at Royal Air Force St Athan back in 1938.

The school was originally formed to train airframe and engine fitters and mechanics. Nowadays, the school provides the specialist training of airmen and airwomen employed in the trades of General Engineering Technician Electrical, Mechanical and Workshops.

Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns said:

It is great to see the historic No 4 School of Technical Training continue to thrive in Wales. Over the past four years the UK Government has delivered an astonishing defence transformation programme and this School is a shining example of defence training excellence.

What makes this school so impressive is that it maintains its traditional history whilst adapting and growing to keep up with the dynamic development of air power. I hope this iconic school can continue going from strength to strength

They then went to see the Vale Resort today to hear about its latest £11 million investment, and watched as the Wales rugby team prepared for its Six Nation match on Sunday.

As the resort gears up to act as a team base for the Rugby World Cup 2015, the ministers were given a tour of the state-of-the-art rugby facilities on site including the five rugby training pitches.

The ministers also got the chance to see the Welsh Rugby Union’s facilities on site, including the National Centre of Excellence, and meet some of the Welsh squad, including Captain Sam Warburton, who was preparing for Wales’s match against Scotland on Sunday as part of the Six Nations Tournament.

Secretary of State Stephen Crabb said:

The Vale Resort helps attract people from all over the world to Wales - to explore our country, invest in our businesses and boost our economy.

Last year’s 8% increase in hotel room occupancy is testament to the fantastic resorts we have in Wales, offering excellent facilities and warm hospitality.

The training facilities at the Vale Resort used by the Welsh Rugby team are world-class, giving them the ideal preparation ahead of Sunday’s match against Scotland

Already the official home and training centre for the Wales team, the four-star independent resort in Hensol, south Wales, was last year selected as an official team base for the Rugby World Cup. It will host the Wales team and any combination of France, Ireland, New Zealand and Italy for the duration of the competition, which takes place during September and October this year. As part of its preparation for this, the Vale Resort has invested £1 million in upgrading its 143-bedrooms, including installing new bathrooms together with upgrading soft furnishings.

The ministers were also shown the 400-year old Grade I Hensol Castle, which is currently undergoing a £10 million refurbishment programme to convert it into a first-class conference facility. The first phase involves constructing the Courtyard Hall, in the courtyard of the historic castle, which will be capable of hosting 320 delegates theatre-style and 200 delegates banquet-style.

Published 16 February 2015