Backed by the Welsh Government, construction of phase one of the Ebbw Vale Automotive Technology Park has started. The development could potentially accommodate 1,500 staff and have a testbed for driverless vehicles.
Ken Skates, Economy Secretary has confirmed funding for a 50,000 sq ft building to jump-start the Automotive Technology Park – which in time will extend to 200,000 sq ft. The land, which is at Rhyd y Blew in Ebbw Vale, belongs to the Welsh Government.
The decision to back the Technology Park was made after The Cabinet made the decision not to support the planned £425 Circuit of Wales Motor project on 830 acres of land situated near the site, in June of this year.
Heads of the Valleys Development Company, which is behind the circuit, had planned a second phase of development incorporating a one million sq ft technology park on a plot adjacent to the track.
The Welsh Government expressed concerns around providing support for underwriting as it would be too much of a risk to taxpayers.
Mr Skates said;
“I am keen to progress our plans for a £100m technology park as quickly as possible in order to secure high-quality jobs and investment in Ebbw Vale and stimulate economic growth across the Heads of the Valleys,”
“I am pleased to announce that I have approved the necessary funding for the design and construction of a 50,000 sq ft industrial space in Rhyd Y Blew in Ebbw Vale to kick start that process.
“I want the new technology park to become renowned as a centre for the development and application of next generation technologies for intelligent transportation.
“The park and our investment needs to be future-proofed to develop and take advantage of the cleaner technologies of the future.”
The Welsh Government’s new park is part of six strategic hubs that were identified in the ministerial taskforce for the South Wales Valleys’ action plan, Our Valleys, Our Future, in July. The budget to build the park has not been revealed to avoid any impact on the tendering process for the design and build.