Welsh Government Economy Brief

December 2018



Business and economy news

Welsh Government5 Economy Brief

Economic Action Plan is at heart of Prosperity For All

Our Economic Action Plan (EAP), at the heart of the Prosperity for All Strategy, is a commitment to develop a new and dynamic relationship between Government and business that is based on the principle of public investment with a social purpose.


Launched at the end of last year by Economy Secretary Ken Skates, the new way of working with, and delivering for, businesses, is progressing at pace.


Our new Economic Contact and the Economy Futures Fund have been launched. we have unveiled membership of a new Ministerial Advisory Board and established a cross-Government Delivery Board. 


Find out more about our new approach to economic development here.

Wales Employment

Unemployment still at record low in Wales

Unemployment in Wales remains at a record low of 3.8%.falling 0.5 percentage points on the quarter and 0.3 percentage points on the year.


Employment in Wales stands at 75% which is is 0.8 percentage points up on the quarter and 2.5 percentage points up on the year.


First Minister Carwyn Jones described the figures as “a testament to the Welsh Government’s sustained and ongoing work to support businesses and make it easier for people to access jobs.


Read more about our plan to keep tackling unemployment and economic inactivity..

Brexit Business Portal

£1m for new Brexit Business Fund

A new £1m Welsh Government fund to help SMEs prepare for and navigate the challenges of Brexit has been announced.


Economy Secretary Ken Skates is urging interested businesses from across Wales to prepare to apply for funding.


The pot is part of Welsh Government’s £50m EU Transition Fund.


Find out how to apply here

Wales Retail Sector

Use it or lose it!

A new campaign promoting Wales’ retail sector and its importance within the community has been launched.


Kicking off towards the end of what has been a challenging year for UK retail, the new campaign is a joint venture between the Welsh Government and the Welsh Retail Consortium.


It is intended to challenge growing misconceptions around the future of the sector.

Find out how to support the sector here.



International Convention Centre

£84m site set for first national major event

Economy Secretary Ken Skates has praised the ‘impressive development’ at the site of the £84million International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales)


This is being developed by a joint venture partnership between Welsh Government and Celtic Manor.


The UK Space Agency Conference from July 9-11 will be the first major event to be staged at the new centre.


Find out more here.




Work Support Service

£9.4m to help people with stay in work

Another £9.4m of EU and Welsh Government funding is now available to help people with mental and physical health conditions to stay in work.


The extra money will be directed to the In Work Support Service which aims to give people with mental or physical health conditions free and rapid access to occupational therapy – to help them remain in employment.


Read more about the In Work Support Service here.

Social Business Growth Fund

Social Business Fund to boost business growth

An additional £2.7m boost of EU funds will see social businesses grow in Wales


Economy Secretary, Ken Skates has welcomed the extra investment into the Social Business Growth fund. which will also help create sustainable jobs in communities across Wales.


The funding which builds on a previous EU investment of £1m, also includes an additional £1m that will be allocated to a new Community Asset Development Fund.


Read more about how the Social Business Growth Fund helps business here

Keeping Faith Cast

Keeping Faith with Vox pictures award-winner

Vox Pictures has been awarded £300,000 by Welsh Government to help create the second season of the highly successful BAFTA Cymru-winning drama ‘Keeping Faith’.

The first series was the highest viewed drama on BBC Wales in over 20 years. After achieving over 15 million views on iPlayer.It was bought by the BBC Network and has just finished a hugely successful run with BBC One nationwide.


Find out more about how Keeping Faith’s has secured Wales’ reputation as a five star place to film

Patchwork Traditional Food Company

Food business tastes online success with 120% sales growth!


Ruthin-based PatchworkTraditional Food Company has taken advantage of free support from Superfast Business Wales to increase sales by 120%.

Thanks to a focus on digital growth, the family-run business, has also grown its client base and boosted sales by 38% in the foodservice industry.


The company, specialising in pâtés, chutneys, olive oil, and relishes, has

taken on two new staff and is now targeting international clients.



Read all about the family's superfast success story here


South Wales Metro

Wales rail ambitious era

An ambitious new era for Wales’ rail has started with the new Wales and borders rail contract.


First Minister Carwyn Jones said the service “can be the best passenger rail service in the UK within the next 15 years,” as he travelled on one of their trains.


Led by Transport for Wales with our partners KeolisAmey this will be the very first ‘made in Wales’ rail service, designed and delivered by the Welsh Government.


See more on this important moment for rail in Wales – and indeed for devolution itself here

more business and economy news

Aston Martin’s Welsh electrification home


The luxury car maker has announced that the Welsh site will become the brand’s centre for electrification.


And the home of the Lagonda brand, the world’s first zero-emission luxury marque.


Read more about how the power of Welsh Government investment helps here

New Hubs to spark Welsh business

Four new Enterprise Hubs in Gaerwen, Newtown, Caerphilly and Carmarthen will encourage and support entrepreneurship in Wales.


The Welsh Government, partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has invested over £4m in the new initiative.


See how the hubs will spark Welsh Business here

Some of best tech companies here in Wales

High tech Newport building now home to IBM, BT, Nokia and others

A Newport building owned by Welsh Government is now home to some of the World’s biggest and best tech companies, Economy Secretary Ken Skates has confirmed.


Read the success story here

Business benefits from our support


Three quarters of Wales’ fastest growing businesses of 2018 benefited from Welsh Government support,


The Fast Growth 50 list, which has been published every year since 1999 and is compiled by Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, celebrates the fastest growing businesses in Wales.


Since 1999 over 600 firms are estimated to have generated £20bn of turnover annually, creating 40,000 jobs.


Read all about it here

Welsh exports Single Market success

News that Welsh exports have increased by more than 4% has been welcomed by Economy Secretary Ken Skates.


Latest export statistics show that the value of Welsh exports stood at £16.6 billion in the year to June 2018, representing an increase of £0.7 billion on the same period in the previous year. 


Of those Welsh exports 61.3% went to EU countries. This is more than 11 percentage points higher than the UK share which stands at 50%. 


Read more on Economy Secretary's support for single market here

behind the scenes

PRA Health Care

Spotlight on science sucess

International clinical research organisation PRA Health Sciences runs studies on behalf of major pharmaceutical and biotech companies.


Having been in Wales since 1996, PRA has established itself as one of the country’s leaders in clinical development.


Having a base in the Swansea area has been great for the company’s recruitment and they credit the invaluable networking assistance that the Welsh Government has provided.


View PRA Senior Director Edward Jones’ sharing his business experience here..

Read more news



Welsh Government is committed to delivering prosperity for all by building an economy on strong foundations, supercharging our industries of the future, and empowering our regions to become more productive. 

By working together for Wales, we will focus on growth with a purpose - inclusive growth - so that as our wealth and well-being improve, inequalities across our country narrow.

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