"But as we know, Anglesey, as the poorest county within the whole of the UK, has the advantage of being able to access £2 billion pounds of European Structural funding in order to create jobs and new businesses to alleviate the effects of the recession.
Unfortunately, that has simply not happened.
The latest official data shows that, in the last three years, only 111 businesses on Anglesey have been helped through European convergence funding.
Worse still, only 102 new jobs have been created and just 18 new businesses set up.
Remember this is at a time when Wales was going though the worst downturn since the 1920s and hundreds of jobs were lost on Anglesey.
But that is not the whole story.
Wales is also fortunate to have access to the £150 million JEREMIE fund that is providing commercial funding solutions for small firms that face difficulties in securing funding.
Yet, according to the latest figures released by WAG, whilst £30 million has been spent across Wales, only £25,000 has been invested on Anglesey i.e. less than 0.1 per cent of funding for entrepreneurs has gone to the poorest county in Wales."
The JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) project is very interesting in that it provides exactly the kind of support which Anglesey needs right now, i.e. loans for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are currently facing difficulties in securing funding from banks. Considering that Anglesey has lost the majority of its larger firms over the past few years, to secure any kind of economic growth on the Island we have to strategically focus on our indigenous small firms. Yet as Dylan Jones-Evans points out, Anglesey's SMEs has been the recipient of less than 0.1 percent of the total JEREMIE funding spent in Wales to date. To put that into perspective, lets see how other Welsh regions have done compared to Anglesey:
|JEREMIE investments in SMEs by region (£000s)|
click to enlarge
So, our neighbour Gwynedd has received 44 times more funding than Anglesey, Conwy twice as much, Denbighshire 35 times more, and Flintshire a staggering 77 times more.
One has to ask why so little of this funding is being accessed by Anglesey's companies? Our AM, Ieuan Wyn Jones, always manages to find time to slam the coalition government for any perceived "lack of respect" for the Welsh economy, yet strangely fails to find any time to actually ensure that his constituency's small businesses are taking full advantage of available funding options -- despite them being administered by his own department. Time to go, Ieuan...