Newport to sit at heart of ‘scientific superpower’ as part of £160m Investment Zone

Newport Wafer Fab. Credit: Google
Newport Wafer Fab. Credit: Google

NEWPORT can become the beating heart of a high-tech industrial “superpower”, bringing more jobs and prosperity to the city.

That’s according to city council leader Jane Mudd, who has welcomed a £160 million Investment Zone for South East Wales.

That money will be spent on bolstering Newport’s semiconductor industry, which specialises in making advanced electronics components.

UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the Investment Zone plan for the Cardiff Capital Region during Wednesday’s Autumn Budget statement.

Jointly funded by the UK and Welsh Governments, the £160 million will be spread over the next five to ten years.

Each Investment Zone will be charged with driving growth in various future or green technologies.

Cllr Mudd said: “This is great news for the semiconductor sector in Newport, the city and its residents, and the wider region.

“We are home to the world’s first semiconductor cluster which, with the right support and recognition, has the potential to deliver significant benefits for the local and national economies.

“An investment zone should provide the support required to help the semiconductor industry become a scientific superpower. And Newport will be at the heart of that vision.”

The Investment Zone will cover the Cardiff Capital Region area, a partnership between Cardiff Council and its neighbouring local authorities, focused on economic growth.

Another Investment Zone will be set up in Wrexham and Denbighshire in North Wales.

Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas also welcomed the chancellor’s announcement and said the region was “prepared, ready and able to make the best use of this opportunity”.

And Torfaen County Borough Council leader Cllr Anthony Hunt, who chairs the capital region's Regional Cabinet, said: “This is great news for the region and for the Welsh economy in general.

"To have two of these new Investment Zones situated in Wales demonstrates how deep and broad our capabilities are.

"We can take this announcement as a vote of confidence in the ambition and talent across the ten local authorities that make up the Cardiff Capital Region. We look forward to working with the UK and Welsh Governments on this.”