Permission has been granted for the first phase of the Automotive Technology Park which could have a 5G testbed for driverless vehicles
The 50,000 sq ft building is just the first phase of the new £100m business park in Ebbw Vale that could be home to up to 1,500 staff once completed.
Economy Secretary Ken Skates confirmed the funding of the 50,000 sq ft building to kick-start the Automotive Technology Park - which overtime will be extended to 200,000 sq ft.
The park is being constructed on land owned by the Welsh Government at Rhyd y Blew in Ebbw Vale, following a cabinet decision in June not to back the proposed £425m Circuit of Wales motor circuit project on 830 acres of land close by.
The company behind the circuit, Heads of the Valleys Development Company, had planned a second phase of development that detailed a one million sq ft technology park next to the track.
The company was seeking the Welsh Government to provide underwriting support for around £210m of the cost of what would have been a privately funded circuit.
The Welsh Government was reluctant, however, saying its support would have posed too much risk to the taxpayers.
The Welsh Government’s new park is one of six strategic hubs that were identified in the ministerial taskforce for the South Wales Valleys’ action plan, Our Valleys, Our Future, in July.
Mr Skates said: “I am keen to progress our plans for a £100m technology park as quickly as possible in order to secure
“Today, I am pleased to announce that I have approved the necessary funding for the design and construction of a 50,000 sq ft industrial space in Rhyd Y Blew in Ebbw Vale to
“Since I announced the Welsh Government’s plans to establish the technology park, we have had a significant number of enquiries from automotive companies looking to move to Ebbw Vale, and I am confident that the development of this new facility will help us to start to meet demand in the market.
“There is no doubt we are at a pivotal time for the automotive industry. I want the new technology park to become renowned as a centre for the development and application of
"We need to retain our focus on the here and the now, which also means focusing on jobs on the ground and the petrol engines that will be with us for some time to come, but it needs to build in a way that can capitalise on rapid changes happening in the automotive industry.
“The park and our investment
“We need to be clever and collaborative in order to make the technology park a success which means leveraging in funding from both private and public sectors, working constructively with our partners and investing in local skills.”
The budget assigned to the new building has not disclosed so as not to influence the tender process which will award the contract to design and built it.
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