- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce Watson AM has described as a “double boost” news that more Pembrokeshire businesses will benefit from lower business rates and a renewable energy company has committed to the county.
The Welsh Government this week announced an extension of the Haven Enterprise Zone to help lift the area following the Murco closure decision.
Under the expansion, more small and medium sized businesses will be able to apply for a grant to offset their business rates for up to two years. As well as the original area, the zone will now include Brunel Quay, Neyland, the area west of Milford Haven, the Martello Quay and Stockwell Road areas of Pembroke Dock, Trecwn and Goodwick.
Meanwhile, Swansea-based Marine Power Systems (MPS) has committed to having its equipment made in Pembrokeshire. The company, which is developing new wave energy technology, has confirmed that the manufacture, assembly and deployment of all its systems will take place around Pembroke Port.
Joyce Watson is a member of the Welsh Assembly’s Enterprise and Buisiness committee. She said:
“After the Murco blow, and with uncertainty over South Hook, this is positive news – a real injection for the area.”
MPS is planning to launch a quarter-scale prototype of its WaveSub technology this year. Gareth Stockman, the company’s co-found and managing director, said the skills and infrastructure available in the region provided, “a great platform for growth”.
The Enterprise Zone Business Rates Scheme was launched in 2012 and has supported 130 businesses with over £7.5m of funding.
Applications for the current financial year for businesses in the newly expanded area in the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone can be made from 4 February until 25 February. The maximum grant available to each successful applicant is the lower of £55,000 a year or the business rates paid.
Businesses may qualify for up to 100% funding of business rates if they are a small or medium sized enterprise, either looking to start up in an Enterprise Zone or already in a Zone and looking to increase the size of the permanent workforce, provided they are contributing to the overall objectives of the Enterprise Zone and the Welsh Government’s jobs and growth agenda.
Further information, including eligibility criteria and application forms, is available by contacting 03000 6 03000 or emailing [email protected].
Plans to build a combined heat and power station at the LNG (liquefied natural gas) South Hook site have been put on hold, the owners announced on Monday (2 February). This comes after the deal to sell the neighbouring Murco oil refinery collapsed in November, with the loss of more than 300 jobs.