On Wednesday 18th October 2023, Sarah Atherton MP met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, to discuss Wrexham and Flintshire’s joint bid to be selected as one of the 12 UK-wide Investment Zones.
At Wales Questions in the House of Commons earlier today, Wrexham’s Member of Parliament also took the opportunity to ask for the UK Government’s support for two Investment Zones for Wales. In his response, the Welsh Secretary stated that the successful delivery of Investment Zones in Wales is dependent on the Welsh Labour Government’s support.
Over the past few months, Ms Atherton has also had meetings with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove MP and the Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies MP, in Parliament to make a strong case for Wrexham to become an Investment Zone.
An Investment Zone could bring approximately £80m of investment and tax incentives to the local economy resulting in significant investment in skills and providing more high quality and better paid jobs.
In September 2023, Ms Atherton wrote to the Welsh Government’s Minister for Economy to request his support for Wrexham and Flintshire’s bid and for a second Investment Zone in Wales. Ms Atherton is yet to receive a response from the Welsh Government.
Sarah Atherton MP commented:
“Wrexham is Wales’ newest city, we have the largest urban settlement in North Wales and one of the largest trading estates in Europe, employing over 10,000 people. The benefits of an Investment Zone will only serve to make Wrexham an even more attractive proposition for businesses to invest in. As such, I was pleased to speak to both the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Wales earlier today and strengthen Wrexham’s case for a joint Investment Zone. It is clear that the UK Government wants to invest in Wrexham and North East Wales, and is open to the possibility of two Investment Zones in Wales.
Despite this, I am very concerned that the Welsh Labour Government is dragging its feet on Wrexham’s joint bid, which is conditional on the Welsh Government’s support, as Wales is a devolved nation. Last month, I wrote to the Welsh Government to seek assurances on its support for our bid, however, I am yet to receive a reply. Rather than throwing its full support behind Wrexham, the Welsh Government is playing politics and holding back the potential of our people and city in the process. In contrast, I am continuing to bang the drum for Wrexham. As the global spotlight continues to shine on our new city, now is precisely the time for us to seize every opportunity – especially those that will enhance our potential and facilitate increased inward investment into our local economy.”