Exciting plans for St Athan site
A FEW weeks ago, my Ukip colleagues and I were given a tour of MoD St Athan.
While it is regrettable that the military presence in South Wales is being reduced, the plans for the remainder of the site are exciting.
The arrival of Aston Martin will bring 750 jobs to the area, which is great news for nearby Bridgend, particularly in light of the news about Ford’s engine plant losing its contract to supply engines to Jaguar Land Rover.
The automotive sector is a vital part of the economy of South Wales West and we must do everything possible to secure its future.
During questions in the Assembly Chamber, last week, I urged the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy to work with Ford, workers, the unions and the UK government to secure additional contracts for the Bridgend plant.
We have two-and-ahalf years until the Jaguar Land Rover contract ends.
Two- and-a-half years to secure the future of the workforce at the engine plant.
Two- and-a-half years to find alternative contracts.
Ford’s decision to focus on electric vehicles in future offers an opportunity for the Bridgend plant to supply the drive trains for future electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Having Aston Martin next door will also open exciting opportunities. The Welsh Government must do all it can to maximise those opportunities.
Their decision to establish an automotive hub at Ebbw Vale and the £100m pound investment they have made there must not threaten the Bridgend engine plant.
The Ebbw Vale automotive business park must complement, not compete with, St Athan and Bridgend.