THE Welsh Government has promised to do everything it can to get the Deeside Enterprise Zone right.
Edwina Hart – the Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science – gave the assurance after North Wales Conservative AM Mark Isherwood raised questions about how the plans would tie in with those of Flintshire County Council.
Business leaders are optimistic the enterprise zone, which will be dedicated to advanced manufacturing, could create up to 20,000 jobs in the county in the next five years.
The council’s successful bid for a zone in Deeside was drawn up and submitted before it knew when, how or if the Welsh Government would introduce enterprise zones in Wales.
Mr Isherwood said he is keen that Flintshire County Council’s own proposals are not lost among Mrs Hart’s ideas for Deeside.
Addressing Mrs Hart in the Senedd this week, he said: “What dialogue have you had, or will you and your officials have, with the council to marry the proposals that you have in mind with those that it has submitted to you?”
Mrs Hart replied: “We have taken a thoughtful approach and we will discuss issues with our partners. Hence, there may be a time lapse on the detail, because we want to ensure that we have got it right with our partners in terms of what we can do in that area.”
Mr Isherwood added: “Although long overdue, this Welsh Government announcement is welcome, as is the UK Treasury funding for enterprise zones in Wales which has made this possible.
“Enterprise zones are intended to boost areas where the economy is flagging and must support both local and regional business growth and genuine inward investment. They can make North Wales more prosperous.”