£100 million pledged for tech developments in the valleys

The Welsh Government has set up a new group to advise on how £100 million of funding will be invested in emerging technologies across the South Wales Valleys.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates has pledged that the Welsh Government will invest £100 million to turn Blaenau Gwent and the South Wales Valleys into a technology hotspot.

Known as Tech Valleys, the project is aimed at creating 1500 sustainable jobs over the next decade. The Tech Valleys Strategic Advisory Group, which recently met for the first time, will run this initiative.

It’ll provide advice to the First Minister, the Economy Secretary and the Welsh Government on ways this money should be invested, as well as helping to shape the strategic objectives and priorities.

The group consists of partners from industry, public sector and academia, and will draw on technology developments across the UK and world to set best practices and focuses.

Speaking about the initiative, Economy Secretary Ken Skates said the aim is to tap into the lucrative technology industry to enable economic growth across the valleys.

“The £100m that we are investing in Tech Valleys will drive high value jobs predominantly within new technologies and advanced manufacturing sector and help to make Blaenau Gwent and the wider South Wales Valleys a globally recognised centre for the development and delivery of emerging technologies,” commented Skates.

“The investment will also be used to drive and support entrepreneurial activity and to provide high-quality employment opportunities and skills development for people living locally.

He added: “Tech Valleys really does have the potential to transform lives.  It is a hugely important initiative and I am delighted  that the Tech Valleys Strategic Advisory Group, with its high calibre of membership  has now met and can begin its important role.

“I look forward to working closely with the Group and partners from across public sector, industry and academia to ensure our investment in Tech Valleys works to leverage in significant private and public sector funding and delivers against our objectives of better jobs closer to home.”