Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure
This Statement provides an update on the proposed establishment of a Welsh Advanced Manufacturing & Research Institute.
I am today announcing that the Welsh Government will support the establishment of an Advanced Manufacturing & Research Institute in North Wales
The institute, which was a Programme for Government commitment, has been developed by the Deeside Enterprise Zone Advisory Board, AMRC Sheffield, Swansea University and Coleg Cambria in conjunction with SMEs and large companies.
The £20m in-principal funding from the Welsh Government will support an initial £10m investment from project partners to develop the institute and maximise every opportunity including its key geographical location in Wales and its proximity to the Northern Powerhouse. This will ensure access for Welsh business to the most up to date manufacturing research, innovation, production processes and funding available in the UK.
Aimed at targeting collaborative research & development, advanced manufacturing techniques and production processes, training needs and skills across industry, the institute will have a strong focus on advanced manufacturing sectors including aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food.
The centre will be open access and outward looking, actively seeking collaborative partnerships with industry and academia partners locally, such as Glyndwr University, and internationally to ensure maximum benefit and complementarity.
Furthermore I am also able to reveal that Airbus will be the first anchor tenant of the facility, undertaking their Wing of the Future development programme. Attracting this R&D project to Wales will support Broughton’s ability to secure the manufacture of these new wings in the future.
Overall, the facility could potentially safeguard 6000 jobs up to 2030 and beyond and also has the potential to generate 1000+ new jobs in the broader economy.
A Development Board, supported by a Development Director, is to be appointed shortly and will undertake further formal due diligence to finalise the industrial requirement and investment decision. The outcome of that work will confirm the specification and location of the facilities and is expected by summer 2017.