Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart presented the UK government’s ambitious plans for Wales, which aim to create thousands of skilled jobs and secure Wales’ place as a plaque hub of innovation and the green industries of the future.
Speaking to an online audience of representatives from Welsh business, industry and tourism, Thursday, May 20, the Welsh secretary explained how the UK government would rebuild better and greener after the pandemic by investing in the digital infrastructure, providing financial support for green industry and supporting jobs and growth across Wales in the months and years to come.
Launching the UK government’s plan for Wales, Mr Hart also described how his government will operate at community level in Wales, working directly with local authorities and other groups on providing finance and major projects .
Speaking of the plans, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Just as the UK’s economic clout has provided the resources to bring its four building blocks to the worst of the pandemic – and acquire the vaccines that will eventually put an end to it – so strength in numbers will help the country Wales to become fairer, greener and more prosperous as we rebuild better from the coronavirus.
By working together, we can deliver faster internet connections, more reliable mobile signals, and better transport connections. We can create good, skilled, well-paying jobs from Menai Bridge to Machynlleth to Merthyr Tydfil and we can help Wales play its part in building a net zero economy with everything from the Holyhead Hydrogen Hub to vast floating wind farms in the Celtic Sea.
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said:
The UK government is shifting into high gear in Wales. We are stepping up our support to local communities to help them recover from the pandemic, we are bringing the UK government closer to Wales and we will lead Wales’ recovery towards a green industrial revolution of jobs and growth.
Every investment we make will be looked at through the lens of jobs, livelihoods and sustainability. Like never before, people will see the UK government working directly with the 22 Welsh local authorities as well as other local partners.
Neither Westminster nor Cardiff have a monopoly on knowledge and expertise and I firmly believe that it is the local communities that are often best placed to determine both how to meet the specific needs of their regions and what will have the greatest impact. greater impact.
The plan for Wales was released after a year in which unprecedented support was provided to businesses and individuals in Wales during the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 500,000 Welsh jobs protected by the programs UK government support including the Coronavirus Job Retention Program, billions provided in government loans to Welsh businesses and an additional £ 8.6bn allocated to the decentralized Welsh government through the Barnett Formula since the start of the pandemic.
Mr Hart said the UK’s collective strength has been instrumental in harnessing collective scientific, industrial and financial strength to deliver a world-class vaccination program that has emerged from the lockdown.
The Welsh Secretary presented a series of ambitious projects across Wales for which the UK government has recently committed funding and support, and reiterated his government’s support for longer-term policies such as improving significant impact of Wales’ digital infrastructure and ensuring that transformational growth agreements cover all areas of Wales.
Projects highlighted by the Welsh secretary include:
- Investing alongside industry over £ 40million to help a South Wales industry group go net zero.
- Hundreds of millions of pounds in business and job creation across all parts of Wales through the Growth Deals program.
- £ 15.9million investment in low carbon heavy duty trucks to be launched at Cwmbran.
- Relocation of more jobs in UK government departments, including the Home Office and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, to sites in Wales.
- Almost £ 5 million made available for the Holyhead Hydrogen Hub project to pilot the use of hydrogen in the transport sector.
- Investment of up to £ 30million, subject to approval, in the World Rail Center of Excellence to create a world-class train testing and research and development facility in the Dulais Valley.
- Support the emergence of floating offshore wind, with the Crown Estate organizing an official lease cycle for floating offshore wind projects in the Celtic Sea.
- Implement the new Upgrading Fund, which will invest up to £ 4.8bn in local infrastructure across the UK, which will have a visible impact on people and their communities.
- Launch of The Gigabit Project, a £ 5 billion connectivity program to support the deployment of Gigabit-enabled broadband in the hardest to reach communities of Wales and the UK.
- Continue to improve rural connectivity through the Shared Rural Network, a £ 1bn deal with mobile network operators to provide 80% 4G mobile coverage to the four operators in Wales and 95% coverage. ‘at least one.
- Investment in Wales’ transport infrastructure, including an additional £ 2.7million to improve digital signage capacity on the Cambrian line.
- Delivery of the very first Freeport to Wales which could create thousands of new jobs.
Wales Secretary of State Simon Hart said:
The UK government’s ability to act quickly and protect our economic future has helped save jobs and livelihoods as large swathes of our economy have been shut down.
This includes the leave program, which has protected over 460,000 jobs in Wales and the disruption and rebound loan programs, which have also provided support worth over £ 2 billion. sterling to Welsh businesses.
The UK government has supported people and businesses across Wales during the worst of this pandemic and we will now do everything in our power to lead the way.
Read the full plan for Wales.