Live updates


Enterprise zones mean Wales is 'open for business', says minister

Five zones have been created, with two others proposed Credit: ITV News Wales

Wales' five new enterprise zones have launched today. The areas - in Cardiff, St Athan, Ebbw Vale, Anglesey and Deeside - have been created to offer businesses incentives and potential tax breaks to move there.

The Treasury has allowed 100% capital allowances in parts of the Deeside Zone, but the Welsh Government says it's having "an ongoing dialogue" about similar discounts in the other regions.

"Today's launch of these five Enterprise Zones is just the first step - it shows that Wales is open for business" said the Business Minister, Edwina Hart.

"I am continuing to seek maximum flexibility from the Treasury in terms of the overall level of allowances in Wales and the number of sites that could offer them. "

BUDGET: Statement from Welsh Secretary

The Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan says Chancellor’s Budget Statement will continue to support families, business and long-term economic growth. She says it will have a fair and positive impact on Wales and highlighted the capital allowances for the Deeside enterprise zone.

We are committed to giving the Welsh Government funds and support to build strong enterprise zones in Wales, making enhanced capital allowances available, starting with Deeside. This will support growth, create jobs and enable funds for machinery investment to be available from 1 April 2012. Subject to receiving strong and robust business cases from the Welsh Government, we will look to agree funding for additional sites in Wales. Funds of up to £12 million have been granted for the already announced Cardiff broadband ‘super-connected city’ project".

– Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan

Milford Haven port offers "significant opportunities" for Wales, says report

Milford Haven Waterway Credit: Milford Haven Port Authority

The Milford Haven Waterway could play a key part in driving economic development in Wales, claims a new report.

The study, published by the Welsh Economic Research Unit at Cardiff University, comes weeks after the Welsh Government announced plans for the port to be classed as an Enterprise Zone.

It estimates that the port contributes £324 million to the local economy each year.

Professor Max Munday, the report's author, said safeguarding the port's future is vital

"The implications of a downturn in the sector are significant. The energy sector supports relatively high paid and highly skilled work directly and indirectly in the local economy.

Losing these industries would have a huge impact on Pembrokeshire; the oil and gas sector is significant to the economic prosperity of Wales as a whole and to the UK's energy security"