Yesterday, British sportscar company TVR announced it will be basing a new factory in Ebbw Vale, South Wales. The move will create 150 jobs in the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone, where our company is located. Included in TVR’s “ten year plan” is the production of 4 new models. Not only is this encouraging for Wales, it displays a promising trend among the automotive industry in the UK.
This positive decision comes close on the back of the news that Aston Martin will also be moving production of the luxury, handmade “DBX” to South Wales, bringing 750 highly skilled workers to the area. The Welsh Automotive Forum, of which we are a member, estimates 18,000 people work in the sector in Wales, with sales worth £3.2bn a year.
Ebbw Vale has been in need of new investment. The region’s most prized asset, the steelworks was shut in 2002. During the 1930’s this had become the biggest of its kind in Europe with over 34,000 people working for the company at its peak. Much like today, where steel manufacturers in England and Wales are being undercut by foreign over production and supply, the Ebbw Vale Works struggled to remain competitive during the rapid rise of certain booming countries. Nationalised then denationalised, the Works slow road to closure, economically blew a hole in the region.
The implementation of Enterprise Zones has been a welcome incentive to prospective businesses. But this is not the only reason to relocate to South Wales: Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer: “The Welsh offer wasn’t financially enticing but share holders had to understand the balance that had to be made on quality, cost and time, and St Athan was on time,” he said. “We don’t have to build a building. It won through in terms of quality of workforce and supplies and relationship with the government of Wales.”
Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones on TVR: “Today’s news follows hot on the heels of the Aston Martin announcement and sends out a strong, clear message that Wales is the location of choice for advanced manufacturing.”
Already excited at the prospect of the Circuit of Wales being situated within a 5 minute drive of our business, the news that TVR have chosen to locate the factory next to the circuit comes as a boost to all businesses in close proximity.
We will all be following the situation closely as “TVR has confirmed the exact location of the new site will be announced in a few weeks time.”