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Written Statement - Allocation of Ports Development Fund 2017/18

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure

I am pleased to today announce the applications that were successful in bidding for funding from the £2 million Ports Development Fund that I launched earlier this year.

The Welsh Government recognises the significant contribution maritime ports in Wales - of all types and sizes - play in supporting a prosperous, secure, united, and connected Wales.

We consider their key role in improving economic wealth, growing jobs and ensuring Wales is internationally connected forms a critical part of delivering the objectives set out under our Programme for Government ‘Taking Wales Forward’.  

That is why we launched the Ports Development Fund in April this year to support Welsh ports in developing their role and realising their potential.

I am delighted that a wide range of ports from across Wales were successful in applying for funding. Successful applications were received from:

• Port of Mostyn
• Neath Port Authority
• Port of Milford Haven
• Associated British Ports (ABP) – Swansea
• A joint application from Local Authority ports in Ceredigion
• A joint application from Local Authority ports on the Isle of Anglesey
• Tenby Harbour
• Conwy Harbour

Bids were also successful from the Welsh Ports Group for future planning and marketing projects designed to benefit the whole of the sector in Wales.  

£827,000 of the £2 million budget has been allocated, which leaves a remaining £1,173,000 available. The extension of the State Aid General Block Exemptions Regulations (GBER) this month provides a strong opportunity to further enhance and support ports in a way that was not possible in April when the grant was launched.

It is in this new context that I have decided to invite further bids on a competitive basis in order to provide an opportunity to consider new projects or enhanced projects that would not have been eligible under State Aid rules at the time.

My officials are liaising with the Welsh Ports Group and ports directly on the process for bidding for the remainder of the fund to ensure timely allocation of grant.

I will provide a further update for members later this year.