WALES’S First Minister today announced two business deals that should create about 220 jobs in South Wales.
Carwyn Jones revealed that games developer Relentless Software will open a new studio in Porth Teigr creating 70 new jobs in the next three years.
He also announced a new deal with car manufacturer TVR to build its new models in Ebbw Vale which would create an extra 150 jobs in the area.
Speaking at Gloworks creative industry centre in the Porth Teigr development, Mr Jones praised the growth in the Welsh economy and the new foreign investors coming into Wales
The deal follows on from Aston Martin agreeing to move to St Athan from 2017 to build their new models, a deal that could result in several hundred jobs.
TVR Chairman Les Edgar, spoke of his excitement at bringing his company’s new factory to the Ebbw Vale enterprise zone.
“I am sure we will be able to carve out something special in Ebbw Vale. We will be delivering all the cars from the factory so people will be coming to this beautiful part of Wales to collect their cars.
“We can take the highly educated population from Ebbw Vale and South Wales and teach them the skills they need quite easily. We don’t need to import staff to do this.”
Mr Edgar joked: “I’ve been promised a dedicated TVR lane on the road to Ebbw vale already by the First Minister.”
The First Minister also condemned some in the media for portraying the Welsh economy as “backward” and the Welsh as the “poor man of the UK”.
“My greatest frustration is the continuing caricature in some quarters which paints Wales and its economy as backward. I refer you to some articles, particularly in The Economist, that would have you think that Wales was some sort of post-industrial hinterland,” the First Minister said.
In a wide-ranging speech, the First Minister also affirmed his commitment to campaigning for a Yes vote in the EU referendum on June 23.
“Our proud record on inward investment, for which access to the single market is a key selling point, would be under severe threat. All the competitive advantages we as a nation have worked towards, gone in a flash.
“We can’t allow that to happen, which is why I’m pushing as hard as possible for Yes vote on June 23.”
Ahead of the Welsh Assembly elections on May 5, Mr Jones also spoke of his government’s success in attracting new business to Wales and creating new jobs.
“This government has created, safeguarded and assisted nearly 150,000 jobs. That’s 150,000 livelihoods, 150,000 taxpayers and 150,000 households.
“I know that better jobs closer to home are the most important thing for people in Wales right now.
“Our manufacturing employment in Wales is growing at more than twice the rate of the rest of the UK, and with Aston Martin and TVR coming to Wales that growth is continuing.
Wales have seen a shift in recent year towards a digital and service led economy, and the First Minister was quick to stress that the construction industry has not been left behind.
“Despite having a tough time in the recession, construction is growing strongly at 7% year on year – which is double the UK growth rate. The number of women in construction has also increased by 24% since 2010.”
The First Minister also offered some words of advice for those in Westminster: “Just saying the words ‘long-term economic plan’ over and over again doesn’t mean you actually have one – especially if all the evidence points towards to missed targets and the economic uncertainty of a post-EU world. That is that we are seeing in Westminster this week.”