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Plaid proposes new development agency to boost the Welsh economy

06 Mar 2021 2 minutes Read
Helen Mary Jones. Picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

Plaid Cymru has pledged to set up a new development agency to boost the Welsh economy if the party wins May’s Senedd election.

Plaid’s Economy spokeswoman Helen Mary Jones said Prosperity Wales would draw on expertise from the business world, as well as specialists in tackling inequality and decarbonisation and would be focused on nurturing local businesses and helping firms to innovate.

“There is nothing inevitable about the poverty that so many of our fellow citizens face. This poverty is both a direct result of, and a lack of, political decision,” Ms Jones said.

“Prosperity Wales will be an economic development agency with a difference, drawing on expertise from the business world as well specialists in tackling inequality and decarbonisation.

“Tasked with developing our economy in such a way that opportunities are created fairly across our nation, there will be an emphasis on addressing historical patterns of discrimination that have led chronic injustice and inequality in the way our economy has functioned.

“Come the election in May, Labour will have had 21 years in which they have failed to deliver the transformation that Wales so desperately needs,” she added.

‘Poverty’

“A third of our children are in poverty, our Valleys still bear the scars of the ravages of Thatcherism and our rural communities remain fragile. And with a Welsh Tory party happy to hang on to the coat-tails of their Westminster parents, only a Plaid Cymru government will have the vision, ambition and passion to build the fair, green and prosperous nation – an equal nation – that we all want to live in.”

Last month the Welsh Conservatives outlined plans to re-establish the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) if the Tories are voted into government in May.

Established in 1976, the WDA was a QUANGO tasked with boosting the Welsh economy by encouraging business development and investment in Wales.

The WDA contributed to the building of the Millennium Stadium and the Millennium Centre and was involved in the establishment of the National Botanic Garden for Wales, the Llanelli Coastal Path and removed contaminated land and reclaimed and removed coal tips in south Wales.

It ceased to exist on 1 April 2006, when it was merged into the Welsh Government.

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