Expansion of Enterprise Zone welcomed

Paul Davies: on the waterway.
Paul Davies: on the waterway.

The Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone is set to expand, offering help to more local businesses.

The zone, introduced in 2012, will be expanded to include Brunel Quay, Neyland; areas west of Milford Haven; the Martello Quay and Stockwell Road areas of Pembroke Dock; and Trecwn and Goodwick. It offers financial help for small and medium businesses by offering a grant which allows them to offset their business rates for up to two years. It is open to businesses looking to start up in the area, as well as established firms looking to expand or develop. The Maximum grant available is £55,000.

This extra funding was announced by the Minister for the Economy, Edwina Hart AM, on Tuesday (Feb 3) with applications for funding being accepted the following day

It comes as part of the Welsh Government’s response to the closing of Murco oil refinery last year, with the loss of more than 300 jobs.

The extension of the Enterprise Zone was welcomed by politicians.

Speaking to The Herald, Rebecca Evans, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, said: “I back the expansion of this scheme, and I know that many businesses will also welcome this good news.” She added that “I would encourage all small or medium-sized businesses that are either located in the newly extended area of the Enterprise Zone, or anybody who is looking to start a business in these areas to apply.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Paul Davies said: “I welcome the Minister’s announcement today and I am pleased that action is being taken. Extending the enterprise zone to allow other businesses to benefit is a common sense move. Along with Stephen Crabb MP, I will continue working with all those affected to ensure appropriate support is provided following Murco’s recent announcement.”

Local Labour Councillor Paul Miller also spoke in favour of the scheme: “News that the Enterprise Zone is to be extended in Pembrokeshire is a really welcome step. This scheme can provide business with real cash relief to expand and grow in Pembrokeshire. As I said when talking about this week’s developments with the South Hook LNG CHP project, Pembrokeshire Jobs are disappearing fast right now and we have to have a clear plan and be completely focused on making sure we’ve a viable economy in this county going forward.”

The Enterprise Zone already supports 130 local businesses, and provides £7.5m of funding. Further details, including eligibility criteria and application forms, can be obtained by contacting the business Information Helpline on 03000 603000, or by emailing businesssupport@wales.gsi.

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Dayne Stone

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