Tag Archives: The Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP

Welsh Secretary To Visit Projects Aiming To Be On The Front Line Of The Swansea Bay Region City Deal

Alun Cairns to visit Swansea University Bay Campus, Port Talbot Harbourside and Baglan Bay Innovation centre

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will visit innovative projects at the heart of the Swansea Bay Region City Deal technology revolution later today (11 January).

The Welsh Secretary will hear about the future of steel and how digital manufacturing can increase competition and create globally networked systems at Swansea University’s Bay Campus.

Swansea University, in partnership with Neath Port Talbot, Tata and other commercial partners is working to catalyse the ambition of the Fabian Way Innovation corridor and show Swansea Bay residents the regeneration opportunities presented by the City Deal, by grouping three world-leading projects together, including the UK National Steel Innovation Centre and Astute Factory of the Future.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

Swansea University is leading the charge in delivering exciting City Deal projects which will transform the region, delivering high-quality employment and world-leading technologies.

The UK Government is working hard to encourage the City Deal region to capitalise on its reputation as leaders in the fields of innovation, research and development and energy. With this existing strength, it is crucial that the area is empowered to take the reins and make decisions to support economic growth, boost employment and attract investment right across the region.

The Secretary of State will also visit the Harbourside site in Port Talbot, which aims to boost employment in the research and development field.

The former disused steel and tin-plate works in the docks area of Port Talbot is home to the Harbourside Business Park, occupied by TWI, TATA Steel and Thyssen Krupp. It is hoped that Neath Port Talbot College will develop a £28m campus on the site in 2019.

The Welsh Secretary will also visit the Baglan Bay Innovation Centre, which focuses on developing businesses in the energy, innovation and technology fields.

The Centre is home to the Project SPECIFIC, an academic and industrial consortium led by Swansea University with strategic industrial partners Tata Steel, BASF and NSG Pilkington, developing functional coatings that will transform the roofs and walls of buildings into surfaces that generate, store and release energy.

Swansea University’s SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre was recently awarded £800,000 of UK Government investment to develop the UK’s first energy-positive office.

Alun Cairns will see the proposed site for the Swansea Bay Technology Centre at Baglan Energy Park, aimed to support and encourage the growth of start-ups and indigenous businesses, with a focus on the innovation and research and development sectors in particular the growing energy sector.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns added:

The Swansea and Neath Port Talbot areas have much to look forward to – not just because of the exciting City Deal projects transforming the region. The Harbourside and Innovation Centre are fantastic examples of investments that will deliver sustainable employment, regenerating the entire area and supporting the growth of new businesses, which will take the region in an exciting new technology-led direction.

ENDS

Welsh Secretary Kicks Off 2018 With EU Exit Talks

Alun Cairns: We want to get the best outcome for every nation of the UK and every sector of our economy

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Office of the Secretary of State for Wales

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will hit the ground running in 2018 when he hosts the next meeting of his EU Exit Expert Panel in Cardiff today (Thursday 11 January 2018).

The panel forms part of the UK Government’s nationwide engagement with those with key interests in our exit from the EU.

Mr Cairns will gather representatives from Welsh businesses, universities and the voluntary, farming, food and health sectors at Caspian Point to discuss their priorities for Brexit and to update them on negotiations and the progress of the Withdrawal Bill.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said.

As we move closer towards our exit from the European Union, the job of listening to, and understanding the needs of, those who live, work and do business in Wales becomes ever more important.

The UK Government’s overriding goal is to make sure that the voices of sectors from all parts of the UK are listened to as we navigate an exit that works for everyone.

That is why I am working with experts from across all sectors in Wales to examine the challenges posed by Brexit and to explore the great opportunities for growth in business and employment.

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill is a key piece of legislation in the national interest which will convert EU law to UK law on exit day, ensuring certainty and continuity as we leave the EU.

The Secretary of State for Wales established the Expert Panel to work with him to deliver a smooth and orderly exit from the EU in Wales. The fifth meeting today builds on the constructive conversations they have already had on how powers returning from the EU should be exercised after exit day.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns’ New Year Message For 2018

Alun Cairns looks ahead to a year of opportunity for Wales

Alun Cairns

The Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP

Each New Year provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our achievements over the 12 months, and look forward to the year that stretches before us.

2017 was the year that Wales once again shone in the global spotlight and underlined its credentials as a first class host of major sporting events when Cardiff hosted the UEFA Champions League final. The biggest sporting event in the world that year was beamed to 200 countries and up to 170,000 fans from all over the world flocked to the city and left with a clear and positive message about everything Wales has to offer.

There is little doubt that 2017 was also the year that launched the UK into a seminal moment in our political and constitutional history.

We began the year by writing a new chapter in Welsh devolution as the Wales Bill received Royal Assent. In March we triggered Article 50, putting the decision taken by the British people to leave the European Union into action. And we ended the year by reaching an agreement on the first phase of negotiations which will take us through to discussions on trade and security in 2018.

It was the year that the UK Government also underpinned its ambition to re-balance the Welsh economy and grow the private sector with major investment in infrastructure.

The decision to reduce the Severn Tolls before abolishing them altogether, the introduction of state of the art trains on the Great Western Mainline and funding for superfast broadband, are all essential steps towards delivering long-term, balanced economic growth.

We have also continued to demonstrate that this Government is firmly on the side of business. The Government’s modern Industrial Strategy has been designed to build on Wales’ strengths in fields such as aerospace, technology and life sciences and I want to ensure that we are putting our best foot forward to maximise the benefits for Wales from the initiatives and grand challenges it presents.

And of course, the UK Government has set out the way forward for a comprehensive and ambitious series of City Deals for Cardiff and Swansea, is progressing with a growth deal for North Wales and is opening discussions on a growth deal for the Mid Wales region.

These deals are about creating a network of regional economic powerhouses capable of forging mutually beneficial connections and linkages.

This is why our announcement to abolish the Severn tolls is so important – my number one aim when I became Secretary of State – sending a direct message to businesses, commuters and tourists alike that we are committed to strengthening the links between England and Wales.

And in order to build on this, one of my first tasks in the New Year will be to host a Summit on 22nd January at the Celtic Manor to bring together local partners from across the South West of England and the South Wales to explore how we can further strengthen the links between the two economies.

So if 2017 was the year of progress for Wales and the United Kingdom, 2018 will be the year where we must have the vision and the courage to seize the opportunities these moment present.

This is also the challenge that we lay down to the Welsh Government when firmer foundations for devolution in Wales come into force on 1 April next year. The new reserved powers model of devolution in Wales will make clear what is devolved, and the responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales, and what is reserved – and the responsibility of Parliament. This will put more decisions into the hands of Welsh Ministers, giving them important new levers to grow the Welsh economy and to deliver better public services across Wales.

As the voice of the UK Government in Wales, and the voice of Wales in Westminster my department will continue to closely with departments across Whitehall to ensure companies and investors see Wales as an outward-looking, ambitious trading partner. That was the message I gave to business leaders on my recent trips to Japan and Qatar, where I spoke to a number of investors – both existing and potential – about what Wales has to offer post EU exit. And it will be the message we will carry forward into 2018.

The UK Government will not be found wanting in energy, enterprise or enthusiasm when it comes to delivering for Wales. In 2018, we will continue to manage our economy carefully, to build a country that works for everyone and an economy that is fit for the future.

This is how we will preserve, protect and progress our prosperity.

On behalf of my ministerial colleagues, I wish you all a very healthy, happy and prosperous 2018.

Sign Up To Attend The Severn Growth Summit In January 2018

The UK Government has committed to abolishing the Severn Tolls by the end of 2018. Sign up to attend the Severn Growth Summit to see how you can benefit

Severn Crossing

Severn Crossing

The Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns has announced that he will host the first cross-border, Severn Growth business summit on 22 January 2018 at the Celtic Manor Resort.

He is calling on local partners and businesses from across the South West of England and the South East of Wales to come together to explore how links between the two economies can be strengthened following the announcement of the abolition of the Severn Tolls.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

Our decision to abolish the Severn tolls sends a powerful message to businesses, commuters and tourists that the UK Government is committed to strengthening the Welsh economy.

By strengthening the links between communities in south Wales and south-west England, we will transform the joint economic prospects of both regions, creating a growth corridor stretching from Cardiff through Newport to Bristol.

I want to ensure that visitors and investors know what Wales has to offer and I want the world to know our nation is open for business.

You can sign up to attend the Severn Growth Summit here

Wales’ Prosperity Is Underpinned By The Efforts And Aspirations Of Our Top 300 Firms

Alun Cairns writes in the Western Mail's Top 300 Businesses in Wales supplement

Alun Cairns

Alun Cairns

Since 2010 the UK Government has consistently and robustly put in place measures to help rebuild and nurture the UK economy.

We have announced the end of Severn Tolls, delivered City Deals for Cardiff and Swansea, initiated the largest and most ambitious programme of investment in rail infrastructure since the 19th Century and seen several multi-million pound defence contracts awarded to companies across the length and breadth of Wales – to name just a few.

We have also had to make some tough decisions along the way, and many have asked us to change tack.

But what we are seeing now proves they have been the right decisions. Our consistency in tackling the deficit whilst making the UK a good place to do business means that, not only are we seeing an economy that is growing, but it is one that continues to create more jobs and continues to confound those who seek to talk it down.

Since 2010, Wales continues to be the fastest growing part of the UK outside London.

Welsh businesses can take their share of credit for what Britain has achieved in the years since the financial crisis.

Over the last year, we have seen further investment from businesses here in Wales.

In Newport, the train manufacturer CAF is expected to create 200 skilled jobs in its new factory, following a £30 million investment.

On a recent visit to North Wales, I saw for myself how healthcare company Ipsen is diligently expanding with a £22 million investment in its Wrexham site. The company has invested around £100million over the last three years on its North Wales footprint – securing high skilled jobs for the long-term.

As we celebrate this good news, we should keep clearly in mind what it all really means.

It’s not simply numbers on a balance sheet, but an investment in people’s livelihoods and the economic security of families across Wales.

It is a vote of confidence in Wales – in our talents, our skills, our infrastructure and our ideas. But our job now is to look to the future.

If the last ten years have seen us rebuilding our economic position, the next ten years must see the beginning of a new chapter in the story of the Welsh economy.

Because for all our progress, there is still a long way to go. The only way to achieve a stronger, better balanced economy and improve living standards across Wales in the long term is to improve our productivity.

That is the key goal of the recently launched Industrial Strategy White Paper – a strategy that invests in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future to raise productivity and wages in all parts of our country. I want to ensure that we are putting our best foot forward to maximise the benefits for Wales from the initiatives and grand challenges it presents.

Our approach to the Industrial Strategy reflects our ambitions for the British economy as we leave the European Union.

A more productive, dynamic, innovative, world leading economy which embraces technological change and is globally focussed.

Indeed, the UK Government announced recently that Cardiff has been chosen to be one of ten new regional hubs across the UK for emerging tech firms.

That announcement is clear evidence of our commitment to Wales and confirms its position at the leading edge of technology and digital development.

It also underlines the Government’s support across the UK for digital start-ups and the expansion of existing businesses in the technology sector.

And of course, the UK Government has set out the way forward for a comprehensive and ambitious series of City Deals for Cardiff and Swansea, is progressing with a growth deal for North Wales and is opening discussions on a growth deal for the Mid Wales region.

These City Deals are not about carving out separate and isolated enclaves.

Quite the reverse. They are about creating a network of regional economic powerhouses capable of forging mutually beneficial connections and linkages.

The value of connectivity is clear beyond doubt. Just look at the natural business flows within the UK and across the border of Wales and England.

We want to build on those vital economic connections through growth corridors.

Between Deeside, Manchester and Merseyside we have one of the strongest manufacturing corridors in the UK. And between Bristol, Newport and Cardiff we have one of the strongest digital and creative corridors in the UK.

This is why abolishing the Severn tolls will deliver a £100m boost to South Wales. We are investing in cross-border rail such as the £16.1 million investment in the Halton Curve sending a direct message to businesses, commuters and tourists alike that we are committed to strengthening the links between the economies of England and Wales. Collaboration clearly designed for mutual benefit.

And in order to exploit this, I will host a Summit in the New Year at to bring together local partners from across the South West of England and South Wales to explore how we can further strengthen the links between the two economies.

As we seek to create a more outward looking, global Britain following our departure from the EU, I want to make sure that Welsh companies stand ready to exploit every opportunity our new trade relationships with the world can bring.

This year, I undertook trade missions to both Japan and Qatar- two powerhouse economies where we are looking to build on existing business links thought a new daily flight to Doha secured recently with the support of UK Government, as well as look at further opportunities for UK companies and institutions to operate in the region.

We want to make sure that Welsh firms, like those in this Top 300 list, capitalise on the support available from the Department of International Trade to enable them to not just trade in markets like Asia and the Middle East, but to thrive there.

From export advice, trade missions or access to the UK’s 1,200 staff in 108 countries worldwide – there is a world class resource that businesses in Wales continue to tap in to.

And I firmly believe that the local support offered in Wales complements the support offered by UK Government.

Our success in global markets hinges on playing to the strengths that Wales has in abundance – a highly skilled workforce, an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive among our business leaders to succeed at home and overseas.

The growth we are seeing is a result of the efforts business like the Top 300 firms in Wales have invested. UK Government may be able to create the conditions for growth, but it is you that make it happen.

Read about the Top 300 businesses in Wales here

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