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Chair disappointed by Government's lack of commitment to North Wales following Wylfa Newydd collapse

9 September 2019

The Chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee, David T.C. Davies MP, expresses disappointment at the lack of real commitment to North Wales in the Government's response to the Committee's report on the suspension of nuclear works at Wylfa Newydd.

No explicit commitments about developing nuclear capabilities in North Wales

The Chair criticises the Government's response for offering nothing but “warm words” about the prospect of developing nuclear capabilities in North Wales. The Government response follows the Welsh Affairs Committee's report into the impact of the suspension of works at Wylfa Newydd for the surrounding economy and for the UK's nuclear capabilities. The report found that the site at Wylfa Newydd has distinct geological benefits and a local skills-base, and recommended that the UK Government and Hitachi should explore new financing models to help get work back underway. The report also recommended that, if continuation of works is not possible, the Government should capitalise on these regional advantages by exploring ways to develop alternative low carbon energy projects in the area.

The Government response, however, does not explicitly commit to accepting these recommendations to support North Wales in the aftermath of the suspension of works. The response makes reference to a range of existing Government policies on clean growth and the North Wales Growth Deal, but it does not make clear what new or additional support the Government is offering North Wales in place of the economic opportunities expected to arise from Wylfa Newydd.

Chair's comments

The Chair of the Committee, David T.C. Davies MP, commented on the Government response:

“The suspension of works at Wylfa Newydd was a catastrophic blow to the local economy – thousands of jobs that could have been created by the nuclear development at Wylfa Newydd have been lost and the Government appears to have no plan in place for repairing the damage.

My Committee made workable recommendations to capitalise on the low carbon capabilities in the area, and I am disappointed at the Government's lacklustre response to our report. This response demonstrates that, beyond warm words, the Government has no real commitment to developing a low carbon energy industry in North Wales.”

Further information

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Talsarnau Times