Economy Minister Edwina Hart has today announced the establishment of the Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone to help create economic growth and jobs for the area recently hit by steel job losses.
The Enterprise Zone status will offer financial incentives to companies based there, including tax and business rate breaks, and was one of the key actions to come out of the Tata Steel Task Force to help support the steel industry.
The Minister said: “The recent announcement of job losses at Tata in Port Talbot is the latest blow to the steel industry in Wales. As such a major employer this will have a knock-on effect for the local economy and we are determined to do all that we can to support the area and the local supply chain.
“We will deploy a range of incentives for existing and new business in the Zone, and today I am announcing a targeted Business Rates offer for qualifying businesses for the coming financial year. Also, following very productive discussions with HM Treasury, the Chancellor announced in his Budget yesterday the offer of Enhanced Capital Allowances for the Zone, subject to agreement with my officials on the boundaries. This is a very welcome development and will make the Enterprise Zone more competitive and be a strong incentive for new investment.
“We will now work closely with the Swansea Bay City Region, the Local Authority, major employers and other stakeholders in the area to ensure Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone is a success.
“As the recent investments by Aston Martin in St Athan and MotoNovo in Central Cardiff demonstrate, Enterprise Zone designation is also a powerful tool in raising an area’s profile and in attracting new companies and investment.”
Port Talbot Waterfront is already well placed to become an Enterprise Zone because of its high skill levels, location, infrastructure, and connectivity. The Enterprise Zone will be based around established and potential employment sites in the area which have significant capacity for supporting new businesses.
The Enterprise Zone will be based around the employment sites of Baglan Energy Park, Baglan Industrial Estate and Habourside / Port Talbot Docks. A map of the area will be made available shortly.
Port Talbot Waterfront Enterprise Zone is Wales’ eighth Enterprise Zone. As of end of September 2015, the other seven Zones had created, assisted or safeguarded over 7,795 jobs in Wales and paved the way for further investment and development.