There’s no doubt that there are a number of exciting developments in North Wales at the moment.
I’ve recently visited some of these including the new £5.1m primary school in Maesgeirchen, Bangor. The school is jointly funded by Gwynedd Council and the Welsh Government through our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.
Building work is now well underway with the new school due to open in September 2017. It will give the best possible start for youngsters in Maesgeirchen, and provide excellent facilities for staff.
I also saw the work going on at Colwyn Bay which is transforming the promenade. Backed by European funding the development will see the re-emergence of Colwyn Bay as a tourism and watersports destinationt, complementing the increasing reputation of the region as an adventure tourism destination.
It was great to see the north recently named by the Lonely Planet as one of the best places to see in 2017 with special mention made to the way the area has been reinvented and repurposed to create a series of truly world class attractions.
Attractions such as Surf Snowdonia, Zip World and the amazing scenery of Snowdonia have all contributed to this recognition. .
Two major economic developments in the region are also underway.
Wales’ first dedicated Science Park is starting to take shape in Gaerwen in the Anglesey Enterprise Zone.
The Menai Science Park (M-SParc) is an exciting and ambitious project, which will provide first class office and laboratory facilities for innovative businesses in the region. It is benefiting from £10.8m of Welsh Government funding and £10.2m from the European Development Fund.
It will bring economic, scientific and technological benefits to the north and complement the substantial investment at Wylfa Newydd by supporting the wider supply chain.
This is the first development of its kind in Wales, and it’s happening in the north
Further to the east the Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, has just announced a double economic boost for the region with the establishment of the Advanced Manufacturing and Research Institute.
The institute, which has a £20m in principle allocation from the Welsh Government, will have a strong focus on aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food and it will be based here in the north on two sites in Broughton and near the Deeside Industrial Park.
Airbus will be the first anchor tenant, which will help secure a major role for Wales in the development and design of future wing technology.
There is no doubt that we are facing challenging and tumultuous times with the UK’s exit from the European Union. However, the measures we are putting in place now will put North Wales in the strongest possible position to deal with this, and help strengthen its economy for the future.