At a breakfast event held in Bangor University’s Reichel Hall on Friday, 8 January, various key individuals and agencies, gathered to celebrate and highlight some of the valuable work that’s taken place to maximise the social and economic potential of Anglesey and Gwynedd with the support of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Magnox.
As the nuclear power stations in Trawsfynydd and Wylfa reach the end of their lives, the social and economic challenges posed by decommissioning on communities in Meirionnydd and Anglesey has been identified as an area that requires action, and work has been carried out over recent years to tackle these challenges.
Councillor Mandy Williams-Davies, Cabinet Member who leads on the Economy for Gwynedd Council said:
“We have long since acknowledged that the decommissioning process at Trawsfynydd power station will eventually lead to a reduction in the essential staffing levels as the work progresses and this will have a dramatic effect on our communities in the Meirionnydd area of the county, and since 2010 have been working on implementing the Meirionnydd Employment Plan as a response. The contribution towards this work from the NDA and Magnox has been invaluable.”
Over the last 5 years, Gwynedd Council and the Isle of Anglesey County Council, alongside the Welsh Government, have been working in partnership with the NDA and Magnox, to take action to secure a prosperous future for Meirionnydd, Anglesey and north-west Wales. The NDA and Magnox have contributed over £7m of funding to date, which has enabled the area to make the most of its assets and bring major investments in sectors such as energy as well as supporting local people and businesses to make the most of the social and economic opportunities.
This significant investment from the NDA and Magnox has also enabled both local councils and other organisations to leverage £39m in match-funding to enable a number of projects to go ahead that aim to secure a diverse and sustainable economic future.
Kelly Duane, Magnox Communications Director, said:
“In response to the challenges being faced, we are pleased to have been able to support a number of positive and successful socio-economic initiatives through the NDA and Magnox socio-economic scheme. We remain committed to working in partnership with the Welsh
Government, the NDA, Gwynedd Council, Isle of Anglesey County Council and the communities local to our sites, to help support the creation of dynamic, competitive and sustainable economies.”
Jon Phillips, the NDA’s Director of Communications, added:
“Supporting efforts that help to mitigate the impacts of decommissioning on local communities is an important part of the NDA’s remit. Our investment of more than £7m, which has levered an additional £39m, has funded a package of measures that are helping to create new jobs, new training opportunities and improve infrastructure in North West Wales. The results of these projects are extremely encouraging. We look forward to continuing to work with Gwynedd Council, Isle of Anglesey County Council and other organisations in building on this success and paving the way to a more diverse and resilient economy in Anglesey and Meirionnydd.”
The economic challenge has long been acknowledged on a local and national level. Most recently, areas around both power stations have been designated as Enterprise Zones by the Welsh Government bringing special attention and effort to secure their economic future.
Ieuan Williams, Isle of Anglesey County Council’s Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic and Community Development said:
“We’re extremely proud of the close working relationship between the public sector, the NDA and Magnox over the past few years. A lot of great work has already been done with the investment to help mitigate the effects of decommissioning, and also to prepare the ground for future opportunities such as the Energy Island Programme. We’re committed to further collaboration and to build upon this success during the challenging times ahead of us.”