The Welsh Government has made significant progress in its plans to establish a second Advanced Manufacturing and Research Institute (AMRI) in North Wales, Economy Secretary Ken Skates has said.
The Economy Secretary confirmed that following a meeting of the Deeside Enterprise Zone on 13th July, the Welsh Government has declared its intention to work with the Enterprise Zone Board and the Ministry of Defence led by the Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA), to develop a proposal that would see Wales’ second AMRI situated on MOD land adjacent to the Deeside Industrial Park Interchange.
Wales second AMRI follows the first in Broughton which is currently under construction and due to open by the end of 2019.
Speaking ahead of his visit to the Farnborough Air Show, Ken Skates said:
“News that DECA are keen to work with us to develop an AMRI on Deeside is incredibly positive and exciting, particularly given DECA’s prominence as a world leader in the test and repair of avionic and electronic component support services.
“Both I and the Deeside Enterprise Zone are hugely encouraged that the MOD supports, in principle, the use of such a prominent and accessible piece of land at the gateway to North Wales for this exciting project, and I am delighted to announce this as I travel to Farnborough to celebrate Wales’ thriving and successful aerospace sector.
“In developing our plans for Wales’ second AMRI we have listened carefully to the needs of business. As a result of that dialogue we intend to develop the second AMRI as an open access centre, which will include a real focus on skills development across the advanced manufacturing & materials and technology sectors. Delivering everything from apprenticeships right through to postdoctoral research it will be a real jewel in North Wales’ crown.
“I am confident the second AMRI in Wales will be of huge benefit to companies across North Wales, including in the aerospace sector, and I look forward to attracting significant high value inward investors to the region, many of whom are already showing a keen interest.”
Speaking before attending the Farnborough Air Show where DECA are exhibiting, Geraint Spearing, Chief Executive, Defence Electronics & Components Agency said
“Following the announcement in November 2016 that DECA and its industry partners BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman would become the global hub for F-35 component repair, I am delighted to be able to support Welsh Government, in principle on behalf of MOD, in taking forward their proposed plans for a second AMRI at DECA.
“I am also tremendously proud that, should this proposal proceed, we will be able to continue DECA’s commitment to growing apprenticeships and high-end manufacturing skills now and in the future supporting local, regional and national job sustainment, Welsh Government’s advanced manufacturing and skills strategies and the UK Government’s Prosperity Agenda.”
The Economy Secretary is visiting Farnborough to meet key players from the Aerospace Sector and celebrate the successes of companies based in Wales.
While at the show he will meet representatives of a range of Aerospace companies and organisations including Raytheon, Thales, Dennis Ferrati, Otto Fuchs and DECA.
The Economy Secretary will also visit the Qatar Airways Stand who have recently begun daily direct flights between Cardiff and Doha.
These, along with the direct Manchester flights serving North Wales, are opening up tourism and business links between Wales and vibrant markets in the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, China, and India.