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Nick Ramsay MS: Freeze welcome but doesn’t go far enough

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BUSINESS rates in Wales will not be subject to an inflationary increase in 2021-22 Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has confirmed today. Freezing the multiplier next year will help support around 54,000 ratepayers across Wales, who are not already receiving 100% rates relief. This takes the total amount of savings businesses have received on their rates bills to more than £90 million from 2018 to 2019. Earlier this year the Welsh Government also announced a rates relief package worth £580 million to provide businesses with the support they needed to survive the pandemic. Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said: “We recognise the pressures that businesses are facing and we are continuing to explore the support measures we can put in place to help businesses cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the end of the EU transition period. “The announcement I have made today provides businesses with the reassurance that they will not see an increase in their business rates liabilities next year.” The Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Finance – reacted to the announcement.Nick Ramsay MS said: “The continuing health emergency produced by the Covid pandemic remains grave, yet the economic emergency we’re going through is still bringing about a different, but equally devastating effect. “The announcement is, therefore, welcome but doesn’t go far enough. “Welsh Conservatives outlined earlier this year our vision of how to rebuild the economy, which will require the next Welsh Government to utilise tax powers in innovative ways. “We have pledged to create ‘Business Rate-Free Zones’, where all businesses would be free from paying business rates for up to three years, and to scrap business rates for all businesses with a rateable value of under £15,000 outside of these zones. “Sure, the business-rates freeze from the Finance Minister is a step in the right direction, but I – and undoubtedly many businesspeople – am left feeling no real sense of assurance from her announcement.”
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Business

Commitment to collaborative approach for Celtic Sea floating wind project

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A SUCCESSFUL Celtic Sea APPG Reception, attended by over 100 key representatives of Industry and MPs, was hosted by Cherilyn Mackrory and the Celtic Sea Developers Alliance at the House of Commons on Monday.
The event, which included speakers from The Crown Estate, Ireland’s Ambassador to the UK and the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart promoted floating wind (FLOW), which will become a key global technology in achieving a cost-effective Net Zero.
Cherilyn Mackrory MP for Truro and Falmouth and Celtic Sea APPG Member said:
“It was fantastic to be able to bring together developers, supply chain partners and Parliamentarians to hear more about the exciting opportunities for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea and positive announcements have set the scene for our discussions.
Particularly, the Government’s commitment to floating offshore wind as part of the Net Zero Strategy, building on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to deliver 1GW of energy through floating offshore wind by 2030.”
Simon Hart MP, Secretary of State for Wales said: “The development of floating off shore wind projects in our waters could create thousands of sustainable jobs in Wales, boosting our economy and accelerating the UK’s shift to clean growth. I’m delighted to support projects in the Celtic Sea which will help the UK Government reach our aim of net-zero emissions by 2050 and to see Wales at the forefront of this exciting opportunity. “
In the UK, the Committee on Climate Change stated that offshore wind will become the backbone of the future energy system requiring 100GW of installed capacity by 2050, with floating wind set to deliver 50% of that target. Delivering 100GW of offshore wind will provide a huge economic opportunity across the UK.
The Celtic Sea will play a key role in delivering UK and Irish low carbon targets with an estimated 50GW of realisable wind resource, in turn, driving regional development, creating new supply chain opportunities, a just energy transition and a significant portion of the 29,000 jobs forecast by 2050.
The Celtic Sea Developers Alliance brings together FLOW developer interests from Cornwall and the Great South West, Ireland and Wales to strengthen collaboration between the three regions with the aim of realising the economic and low carbon energy opportunity presented by FLOW

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Business

Creuddyn opens its doors for local businesses

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( L-R) Senedd Constituency Member for Ceredigion, Elin Jones MS and the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS opened the Creuddyn centre on 4 November 2021 in a recorded speech due to not being able to attend in person.

A NEW business centre in Lampeter has been officially opened for community and business use this week.

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS opened the Creuddyn centre on 4 November 2021 in a recorded speech due to not being able to attend in person.

Senedd Constituency Member for Ceredigion, Elin Jones MS was in attendance for the opening.

Creuddyn is a state of the art building offering business units for local businesses, the social care sector and charitable organisations and will be perfect for start-up businesses looking for premises in the town. It will be an exciting new community facility that will bring people together, help tackle social isolation, support jobs, provide training opportunities, and accommodate social enterprises. 

Chair of Barcud, John Jenkins, said: “We are thrilled to see over three years work come to fruition with the opening of this key Lampeter site. Along with our funders, I would like to thank and pay tribute to the design team and local contractor that have helped to translate the vision we had into reality. Creuddyn will provide an enterprise development building that will support the regeneration of the town, create new training and employment opportunities, and contribute to the development of the local foundational economy. Creuddyn is at the centre of our plans to deliver training into work opportunities, and social enterprise development. It will also enhance our close partnership working with local schools, technical colleges, and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s.”  

 (L-R) Official opening with John Jenkins, Chair of Barcud and Elin Jones MS

Funding was provided for the £3.1M scheme by the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Programme (£1.53m) via Ceredigion County Council, the European Regional Development Fund through WEFO and Barcud.

GMW Partnership Support was received in prioritising the project to receive funding by both the ERDF Priority 4 and the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns Programme.

Leader of Ceredigion County Council and Joint Chair of the Growing Mid Wales Partnership, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, said: “Supporting the development of Creuddyn is part of the Council’s key corporate priorities; helping to boost the economy. It’s our firm belief that investing in economic activity within our towns is essential to drive vitality and make them thriving places to live, work, and relax. It’s great to see that developments like this have benefitted from the funding regionally prioritised by the Growing Mid Wales (GMW) partnership since its formation in 2015. I wish luck and success to any start-up and growth businesses that are fortunate to be based at the Creuddyn centre.”

The core purpose of the development is to stimulate regeneration in Lampeter town by providing modern environmentally friendly business spaces to grow businesses in the area, particularly in the social care sector.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters added: “If we are to succeed in saving our town centres we need radical joined-up intervention.

“Creuddyn is an excellent example of how this intervention works – not only will the new business unit help to bring better jobs and services closer to home, but it will also help to boost the local economy and have a positive impact on climate change, offering people access to jobs and services without the need for a car.”

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Council selects Alcumus to maintain high standards of health and safety

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AS DIGITISATION and connecting data become increasing priorities for public sector organisations to deliver real-time risk insights, Alcumus is delighted to add Ceredigion County Council (“the Council”) to its clients as part of a G-Cloud tender

With 50 communities in the area, Ceredigion County Council in mid Wales covers an area of 696 square miles and has a population of around 75,000. To consolidate council and school incident accident management and reporting into one centralised platform, the Council needed a new system to replace its legacy IT, paper and spreadsheet processes to improve risk management. With a high proportion of people using the new platform having Welsh as a first language, the system will be available to users in both English and Welsh.

To maintain the highest standards of health and safety, Alcumus Info Exchange delivers a market-leading, fully integrated, digital technology platform that brings together operational and risk management information, processes and workflows. In 2020, Info Exchange reaffirmed a place on the G-Cloud 12 for cloud software. This is the second time that Alcumus has achieved G-Cloud accreditation on the Government’s Digital Marketplace, which brings together buyers and suppliers of cloud-based services where public sector organisations can find and compare a range of suppliers.

Councillor Ray Quant, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Legal and Governance, People and Organisation and Democratic Services, Ceredigion County Council commented: “As a responsible employer and managing incident reporting for schools, we wanted to streamline our processes into one digital platform to provide greater transparency and give access to data to everyone across the Council. Info Exchange will enable us to connect people, processes and data while effectively monitoring and managing risks and compliance through one integrated, scalable software solution.”

Alcumus software solutions also play a vital role in supporting Councils and government organisations such as East Renfrewshire Council and a number of Local Authorities such as Islington Council.

Helen Jones, Chief Operating Officer, Enterprise Alcumus: “We provide a unique combination of technology, expertise and consultancy and our award-winning risk management solutions help our clients to deliver operational and safety excellence. Being part of the G-Cloud 12 marketplace is an excellent way for us to build new connections with organisations in the public sector and is an exciting opportunity for Alcumus and our clients. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support Ceredigion County Council and deliver the service and technology that helps them to achieve their objectives.”

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