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UK Government demonstrates support for vital South Wales industries

Welsh Secretary and Business Minister see how significant defence investment supports Welsh manufacturing industry and helps creates jobs

Scout

Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb and Business Minister Anna Soubry visited General Dynamics in South Wales today (2 September) to see how innovation is attracting investment to the region. They also visited steel companies Tata and Celsa to discuss the challenges the industry faces and how the UK Government can support it.

At General Dynamics in Oakdale, they saw first-hand the design and development of SCOUT SV. In July, the Prime Minister announced that General Dynamics had won a support contract for Scout Specialist Vehicles. Along with a £3.5 billion deal last year to manufacture 589 armoured vehicles, the company is creating 250 jobs at the new facility in Oakdale.

Secretary of State Stephen Crabb said:

The substantial investment announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year is a clear example of this Government’s determination to rebalance the economy and strengthen every part of the UK.

Thanks to companies like General Dynamics producing world leading secure communications equipment and state of the art armoured vehicles, Wales will continue to play a vital role in keeping British soldiers safe in the field.

Wales’ growing reputation for harnessing innovation and manufacturing cutting edge products further demonstrates why our country is such a great place to do business.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

General Dynamics UK is a South Wales success story. The company are enjoying success with the Scout Specialist Vehicle and are constantly investing in innovation, research and new ideas so that they develop the products of the future – products that can bring new growth opportunities and jobs to Wales.

Wales is an important hub of high skilled manufacturing and we will continue to back it as part of our drive to rebalance the economy.

Stephen Crabb and Anna Soubry also visited the company’s EDGE facility where they work closely with small businesses and academia by providing expertise and equipment to help develop innovative solutions for defence projects.

In private meetings with Tata Steel and Celsa Steel they discussed the current market conditions and challenges facing the sector.

Stephen Crabb said:

The steel industry is a crucial part of the manufacturing sector in South Wales and is very important to many local communities. However, we should be under no illusions about the significant challenges the industry faces.

We are doing everything we can to support all areas of manufacturing, including the steel industry. By supporting energy intensive industries and promoting the UK as a great partner for trade and investment we can ensure that our long term plan continues to strengthen the dynamic economy in South Wales.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said:

It was important that I came and spoke directly with steelmakers in Wales today to further understand the challenges they face and their plans for the future.

The steel industry is facing very tough global economic conditions, but my department is providing support where we can and we’ll continue to work closely with the sector.

Published 2 September 2015