The Power of Six
Developments to kick-start the economy of North Wales could create thousands of jobs in the region There are various projects in the pipeline across the patch from the gigantic, like Wylfa Newydd, to small housing developments bringing construction jobs to the area. But there are six key developments across the region that have the potential to drive economic regeneration and create jobs.
Developments to kick-start the economy of North Wales could create thousands of jobs in the region
There are various projects in the pipeline across the patch from the gigantic, like Wylfa Newydd, to small housing developments bringing construction jobs to the area. But there are six key developments across the region that have the potential to drive economic regeneration and create jobs.
The first scheme is the multi-million-pound housing estate, supermarket, retail and business units, pub, hotel and petrol station project at Ruabon that was given the green light by councillors two years ago. An un-named supermarket chain withdrew from the development near Wrexham and work is yet to start on the scheme. Now though the project looks set to get moving with sources saying that supermarket chain Aldi has signed up for the site.
It is claimed the overall development - that includes more than 300 homes - could create over 1,000 jobs - including in construction and staff working in the stores and hotel. The waterfront of Caernarfon is set to be transformed with £15m worth of regeneration cash going into the area. This will create hundreds of construction roles and is then expected to boost tourism visits to the historic town.
The Heritage Lottery has earmarked £3.5m for the Cei Llechi (Slate Quay) project which will transform the area into a hub for craftsmen.
The creation of a new Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway station, expected to cost £2.3m, will pull in thousands more tourists and locals to what is a relatively undeveloped part of Caernarfon.
There is work on a second cinema screen at The Galeri, at £3.5m and as part of a second phase, Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic monument service, is considering carrying out improvements to the castle and upgrading road links which will push the total cost of the project to around £15m.
This is already encouraging investment in the town with a bunkhouse and cocktail bar recently opening and there is optimism about the future of Caernarfon. The £100m bypass scheme is also due to get underway - creating hundreds of construction roles in the area.
The industrial park on the edge of Bangor has so far been an utter failure - remaining empty 17 years after it was built. But two years ago, there was hope that the site could finally start to find occupiers with the announcement of a leisure scheme that included a cinema and restaurants. Since then there has been frustration that work is yet to start but the Daily Post recently revealed that a cinema operator had now signed up for a 40,000-sq. ft. 11 screen complex. Developer Liberty Properties - who are working with site owners the Welsh Government - say they are now waiting for commitment from additional restaurant chains, with two signed up so far. There is hope that 2018 could be year this 400-job project finally starts to make progress on the ground.
Alongside this is a separate plan for a £14m cheese plant which is tipped to start in 2018.
Minesto are to place underwater generators in waters near Holyhead in a £25m project and build its British HQ on Anglesey. This year will see installation and commissioning of the first Minesto tidal kite in utility scale, which means a 500kW device with a 12-m wing, at Minesto's Holyhead Deep site 6.5km to the West of Holy Island.
The £25m project, called DG500, is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government and is intended to demonstrate Minesto's Deep Green Technology in utility scale. The project has already created 16 full time, highly skilled jobs at Minesto's Holyhead UK Headquarters and has enabled Minesto to engage with and support the region's local supply-chain.
The installation will be made in three phases. After successful installation, testing of the device will be initiated and testing and analysis will be made throughout 2018. The long-term ambition is for the gradual installation of further Minesto devices in Holyhead Deep, to eventually form a 10MW commercial demonstration array, which will deliver green, reliable electricity to more than 6,000 Welsh homes. Long-term plans to scale up Holyhead Deep to an 80MW commercial tidal energy array would mean inward investments of approx. £175m, creating hundreds of direct and in-direct jobs.
In what is a major housing development, Conygar Stena received outline planning permission in 2012 to build 326 homes, a 500-berth marina, retail, leisure, restaurants, hotel and office space on Newry Beach in Holyhead. The £100m project has been held up but after winning a village green planning battle this year the developer has the rights to push on with the project. A detailed scheme is now expected to be submitted in 2018 and bring a major regeneration boost to the town.
Located at the heart of the Deeside Enterprise Zone, the Airfields is a mixed-use development extending to 140 acres that has outline planning permission for industrial, retail, and leisure occupiers. A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "As a key strategic site for both the Deeside Enterprise Zone and wider North Wales region we have worked closely with the landowners for a number of years to ensure that the employment land is available for development by investors.
"We have already completed 1,500 metres of flood defences along the River Dee adjoining the site and the first phase of the highway infrastructure is nearing completion, which will open vehicular access to Welsh Road. Preparatory work is also now underway with the landowners and Flintshire County Council which will facilitate the construction of the remaining highways and electricity supply infrastructure.
"This investment in infrastructure, coupled with Welsh Government's £20m investment in the twin-centred Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute which is under development for Broughton and Deeside, makes for a compelling case for businesses to locate in North Wales.
"Working with the landowners and Flintshire, we continue to strive to promote the site to prospective employers and investors.
"We are optimistic that within the next 12/18 months the infrastructure investment that has been committed by the public and private sector partners, coupled with the joint marketing efforts will be successful in securing the first buildings at this strategically important location which has the potential to accommodate up to 7,000 jobs and 1,200 homes, including affordable housing."
It was recently added to the list of 65 sites under consideration to host off-site centres for construction and manufacturing for Heathrow Airport's third runway expansion.