A campaign has been launched to persuade talent to “come back” to the north of Wales.
The M-SParc (Menai Science Park) is partnering with the North Wales Ambition Board, Menter Môn and Bangor University to promote employment and business opportunities in the region, and target people who have left to further their education or careers.
The aim of “Come Back // Give Back” is to showcase the area as an ideal location to live and work, and in the long run, to encourage people to return and to contribute to its economy.
It is going to reach out to universities, as well as to Welsh societies and networks across the UK to encourage people to return to their roots.
Pryderi ap Rhisiart, Managing Director of M-SParc, said: “It’s an age-old story for rural areas like Anglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy – as young people leave to go to University or to find work, and the significant effect this has on communities both socially and in terms of the Welsh language.
“So, we want to kick start a conversation locally and with those who have left, but long to come back home.
“It’s a general belief that there are no high-quality jobs here or that we haven’t got the resources or facilities for business. As a result, young people stay away which also means that the area is deprived of crucial skills and talent.
“At a time when we need to be looking at rebuilding the economy, our aim with this campaign is to try and change these perceptions – showing that there are opportunities here and that we want to help people return.”
The campaign is reaching out to those who have been successful in business or in their careers beyond the north of Wales and encourage them to give back in order to support new businesses in the area.
It has developed contacts with Welsh people around the globe, and campaign partners are appealing to people to register an interest to contribute, either of their time as mentors, or to invest financially to support new ventures in the area.
Billy Williams, founder of Cufflink, a technology company which helps people manage their personal information safely online, has already made the move back.
The former Ysgol Sir Thomas Jones pupil from Amlwch, who attended Huddersfield University, has worked all over the world – from London to Switzerland, to Dubai and Australia, but he decided he wanted to move back home to raise a family.
He said: “Having travelled extensively for several years, when we had children I wanted to bring them up close to family and in a safe and bilingual environment. It no longer matters where you live when it comes to where you work.
“Remote working has always been part of our company ethos and given recent events there’s never been a better opportunity to relocate back to such a beautiful, safe and vibrant part of the world.”
Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts of Plaid Cymru said: “I am delighted to support this exciting campaign, and it’s heartening to see proactive and practical steps being taken to attract Welsh speakers back to Wales.
“Now more than ever we have to think of innovative ways to accelerate our economic recovery, and what better way than to see young Welsh-speaking people return to establish themselves in business or pursue a career in professional fields and contributing to our culture and communities.”
Bangor University Vice-Chancellor, Iwan Davies said: “We are proud of the University’s strong network of alumni. Our graduates go out into the world to apply the skills they have learnt here at Bangor, and we want to ensure that they can come back to the area to be part of the region’s future.
“Through M-SParc as well as through other exciting schemes, there are great careers and opportunities to be had here as well as the necessary skills to achieve success.”