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A flying start for St Athan enterprise zone

Business Minister Edwina Hart will visit British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (BAMC) today to see how business opportunity can take off with the launch of the five new Enterprise Zones in Wales.
Sunday 01 April 2012

BAMC has created over 160 jobs over the past 12 months and is set to recruit a further 15 apprentices this year at its facility within the new St Athan Enterprise Zone.

The BAMC facility, which carries out heavy maintenance on British Airways' fleet of longhaul aircraft, supports more than 800 jobs in the local area. 

Mrs Hart said: 

“It’s fantastic news for the local economy to have these high quality jobs in this area and to see BA willing to build on this investment as the months go by. This is a clear vote in favour of doing business in Wales and for the St Athan Enterprise Zone.

“We are not losing sight of the very real economic challenges faced by Wales - these zones are enabling business to create jobs and sustainable economic growth and I’m delighted to see them go live today with this level of backing.” 

Bill Kelly, General Manager Heavy Maintenance, said:

“BAMC is committed to South Wales. Along with British Airways’ other Welsh facilities - British Airways Avionics Engineering and British Airways Interiors Engineering - it will continue to provide good quality skilled jobs for the people of Wales.”

With three distinct areas – Cardiff Airport Zone, St Athan Aerospace Park and the commercial zone, St Athan Enterprise Zone is focused on the aerospace sector. It provides the first unique environment for aerospace in Wales and has the potential to deliver 10,000 jobs by 2025. 

Another company to take advantage of the opportunities at in the area is eCube Solutions, which aims to become a European market leader in providing  solutions for aircraft being retired from service. The company - one of the first to benefit from the Wales Economic Growth Fund - has taken a 10-year lease on a 56,000 sq ft airside hangar on the Welsh Government’s Aerospace Business Park.

Mrs Hart welcomed the news and said the economic levers within the Welsh Government’s remit are playing a proactive role in helping to stimulate the economy.

“The Aerospace Business Park at St Athan is designed to create jobs and utilise both the airfield and the skills base in the area and is within the new Enterprise Zone designated for this sector. This investment shows companies recognise the business opportunities we are creating.

“In addition I am also pleased to announce that eCube is benefiting from the Welsh Government’s Economic Growth Fund, a short term, fast track grant providing immediate access to capital funding for investments that will create and retain jobs.”

eCube Managing Director and partner Tim Schmidt said:

“Providing end of life solutions for owners of mature aircraft is a well developed market in the US but relatively under developed in Europe which provides us with the opportunity to take a leading position in the market.

“We are already in advanced talks with major airlines, leasing and parts companies to ensure they gain maximum value out of assets.The facilities at St Athan, coupled with Welsh Government support and a suitably skilled workforce, make Wales a very attractive offering.”

The five Enterprise Zones that go live today are:

  • Cardiff Central Business District - with a particular focus on the Financial Services sector.
  • Anglesey– focused on the energy sector
  • Deeside – with a focus on the advanced manufacturing sector
  • St Athan – with a focus on the aerospace sector
  • Ebbw Vale – with a focus on the manufacturing sector

Preferred locations for other Enterprise Zones at Trawsfynydd, Snowdonia, and Haven Waterway, Pembrokeshire, have also been announced.



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Business and economy 01 April 2012 Economy Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales

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