Ex­cit­ing plans for St Athan site

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Community - with AM Caro­line Jones

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.

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