Wales to get boost from UK Government's Modern Industrial Strategy

Welsh Secretary launches Industrial Strategy at Airbus' Newport Campus

  • UK Government publishes its vision for a modern Industrial Strategy.
  • Welsh Secretary marks launch during visit to Airbus’ Newport Campus
  • Industrial Strategy to drive growth across the whole of the UK, boosting skills and improving productivity and infrastructure.

Business Secretary Greg Clark has today (Monday 27 November) launched the government’s ambitious Industrial Strategy, setting out a long-term vision for how Britain can build on its economic strengths, address its productivity performance, embrace technological change and boast the earning power of people across the UK.

Wales has a world-leading reputation in the aerospace, steel, technology and life science sectors and through the Industrial Strategy the UK Government will build on these strengths and create new opportunities.

With a clear ambition of boosting productivity and economic growth, the Industrial Strategy contains a number of announcements set to benefit Wales including:

  • increasing national research and development spending to 2.4 per cent by 2027, boosting Wales’s strength in research and innovation
  • sector deals for life sciences, construction, automotive and artificial intelligence
  • boosting 5G connectivity for Wales vital SMEs
  • delivering City and Growth Deals and cross border growth corridors to strengthen links between Wales and England
  • Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund announcements for transforming construction, agricultural and productivity

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns has marked the launch of the Industrial Strategy at the Airbus Campus in Newport, a company helping to put the UK at the forefront of the Artificial Intelligence and data revolution.

He said:

This Industrial Strategy delivers on the conversations we have had with businesses and employees right across Wales.

From the growth corridors which will facilitate more cross-border working, to the commitments to exploring city and growth deals to cover every part of the country, this is a strategy that plays to our economic strengths and address some of the big challenges we face.

Wales also stands to benefit from the major investments in infrastructure and research, including the place based innovation fund and the sector deals for artificial intelligence, life sciences and construction– areas where we hold particular expertise across the length and breadth of Wales.

This is the start of an exciting, long-term partnership with industry, academia, civil society and business. Together, we can make Wales a world leader in the areas we choose to compete in and play a key role in driving productivity and prosperity across the whole of the UK.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

Our new, ambitious Industrial Strategy will build on the UK’s strengths, boost productivity and earning power and will ensure we are one of the most competitive places in the world to start and grow a business.

We recognise no two economies within the UK are the same – for Wales, strengths include aerospace, agriculture and food and drink. But we also recognise that our Industrial Strategy is not something that is done to business, it is done with, and indeed, by business. This strategy is about firms from across the UK coming together and working with government to build a better, more productive UK economy – fit for the future. Wales is world renowned for its steel industry and the UK has a good track record in steel innovation based on both strong industrial heritage and outstanding research and development and the Steel Science Centre forms part of the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Region Deal.

The government has been working closely with the steel industry to map the current capability of the sector and discuss a series of proposals developed since the publication of Building our Industrial Strategy. The government will aim to identify opportunities for steel markets and build on these innovation assets across the UK and will continue to engage with industry, as well as with the unions, the devolved administrations and other partners to develop a commercially sustainable proposition in a competitive global market.