|The Daily Post backs Enterprise Zone status for Holyhead|
There are of course no silver bullets for the economic problems being faced in Holyhead or, indeed, all over Ynys Môn. But one thing is certain: you cannot continue to do the same things and expect different outcomes. The time has come to try something radically different and that is why I have been pushing for Holyhead to become the first Enterprise Zone in Wales. Announced in last month’s Budget, 21 Enterprise Zones will be set up in England, with the closest one to us being in Wirral Waters, Birkenhead. As Economic Development is devolved in Wales, WAG has now received £65m as the ‘Barnett consequential’ of this policy and it will be up to the new Welsh Government to decide post May 5th how to use this money. I sincerely hope that WAG will give serious thought to introducing a similar Enterprise Zone policy here in Wales due to their terrific potential to help revive some of our most economically struggling areas – and to this end, I’m delighted that the Daily Post has also come out in support of my calls for Holyhead to become Wales’ first Enterprise Zone (see image above).
In terms of the specifics of Enterprise Zones, the Welsh Conservatives would push for the following:
- tax breaks for both existing and new businesses – including the lifting of business rates and discussions with Westminster on the possibility of also obtaining corporation tax reductions
- simplified planning rules to assist businesses setting up or expanding
- the roll out of super-fast broadband
It is also important to note that the benefits of having an Enterprise Zone in Holyhead would not be just confined to Holyhead. As Ynys Môn’s largest town, it is in the interests of the Island as a whole to have a thriving, profitable and growing economy in Holyhead. Enterprise Zones have their critics, but quite frankly, its time to try something new and radical in Holyhead: to simply carry on tinkering around the edges will not change anything.