Welsh Government
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£13.5m boost for new business park

Major plans to develop a strategic business park at Cross Hands, Carmarthenshire have been given a multi-million pound EU funding boost, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Huw Lewis announced today (9 November 2011).

The £13.5m investment aims to develop a new strategic employment park at Cross Hands capable of employing over 1,000 people. The project will provide vital infrastructure works at the site to ensure it is developed into a prime location for businesses, offering a high quality centre for speculative industrial development, owner occupier development and expansion projects.

Specific works will include a new access road from the A48, together with the construction of a new internal road and provision for electricity, gas, water, drainage, lighting and landscaping to ensure protection and enhancement of existing bio-diversity. The employment site proposals remain subject to planning with negotiations over the sale of some land parcels ongoing.

The funding package is made up of £9m from the Welsh Government, including the Western Valleys Regeneration Area programme, European Regional Development Fund and Transport grant.  The development will be managed and implemented by Carmarthenshire County Council who are investing £4m in the scheme.

Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage Huw Lewis, said,

“The development of this site will boost the region's economy by creating an accessible and high quality environment to ensure businesses succeed, attracting further investment and leading to more job opportunities.  I’m pleased that we are providing £1.6m from the Western Valleys Regeneration Area programme to help realise this project.”

Deputy Minister for European Programmes, Alun Davies, said,

“This funding for Cross Hands East will bring further benefits to the businesses, providing the right infrastructure to develop a modern and enterprising economy. Through EU funding, we have already helped to create 1,800 and support for over 6,000 enterprises. I am pleased that this EU funding package will build on these achievements, creating an environment in which business can succeed.”

Cross Hands East will be promoted with the ethos of sourcing and selling within the local or regional area in order to reduce journey time and lower its carbon foot print. It is believed that the new site could be an exemplar development demonstrating that all kinds of businesses can operate at a significant lower carbon foot print than the current average. The critical mass of like minded businesses will enable sustainable practices to become more economic i.e. producing less waste, recycling waste communally, and efficient use of space.

Extensive consultation has taken place in the development of these proposals to ensure that the site is meeting best practice and beyond in terms of its sustainability.

Cllr Clive Scourfield, Executive Board member for Regeneration said,

“The earmarking of these funds for infrastructure works is great news and it will be a significant boost for the County. Our aim is to build on the strategic location of the site and ensure that Carmarthenshire will have employment land of the highest quality to attract investment and provide jobs in future. Despite difficult economic times it is vital that we develop the sites to accommodate future business investment and expansion. The funding together with the County Council’s own significant capital investment of around £4 million proposes to build a sustainable business environment, increase employment opportunities and contribute to the regeneration of the Western Valleys area."

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