Economy Secretary Ken Skates has announced funding for the first phase of a new Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute in Deeside which could increase Welsh GVA by as much as £4bn over 20 years.
The new institute will have a strong focus on advanced manufacturing sectors including aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food.
It will deliver game-changing support to key manufacturing companies as well as multi-sector supply chain companies and the broader SMEs economy, and is geared to increase productivity, commercialisation, innovation and skills development.
The new institute is expected to drive a thriving competitive industry base which in turn will act as a catalyst for growth and jobs across the supply chain in Deeside, North Wales, the Northern Powerhouse and further afield.
The first phase on the institute is expected to be up and running by 2020 and will build on existing infrastructure already in action such as Coleg Cambria University Centre.
The funding agreed will seek work beginning on the full design and specification of two separate facilities on at Broughton and once close to the Deeside Industrial Park. Airbus are confirmed as the first member at the Broughton site.
Ken Skates said:
“I am absolutely committed to delivering on my pledge to establish a £20m Wales Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute in Deeside which will focus on increasing commercialisation, training and productivity.
“If we are to continue to compete globally Welsh industry must remain competitive and this means adapting to modern techniques and understanding the potential opportunities offered by collaboration and changes in economy for example the fourth industrial revolution.
“The new institute will very much support these ambitions and I am genuinely excited by the impact it could have.
“The centre will be ideally designed and located to deliver benefits for Wales and to maximise opportunities associated with the Northern Powerhouse. Indeed external experts have predicted that, dependant on external economic conditions, GVA could increase by as much as £4bn, an impact that could be absolutely transformational to the economy of North Wales and our country more widely.”
The Institute has been developed by the Deeside Enterprise Zone Advisory Board, with detailed input from, Swansea University AMRC Sheffield, Airbus and Coleg Cambria in conjunction with SMEs and large companies.