Wrexham’s Economic Future

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    There has to be a vision and a road-map to follow for the economic future of Wrexham. We are currently faltering along with a large industrial estate that is not repopulating its businesses, a town with lowering footfall, and the overall county itself being less on main supply routes as Shropshire, Cheshire and Flintshire grow more quickly.

    Key industries such as aerospace, automotive, engineering … and now the fast growing market of advanced materials … all have something to offer Wrexham, including building the supply chain for smaller businesses to feed and supply larger businesses. Wrexham must set out its long term vision and road-map if the people of Wrexham are to have the best future.



    Instead of Wrexham remaining at the forefront of economic growth for North East Wales it seems like the area is becoming a dormitory town for the growth areas in Cheshire and the North West. House building is gradually starting up again as the UK economy starts to grow- property for those that work within an hours drive time.
    The down turn in footfall in the town is reflecting the outward view that so many people now have. Gone are the days that if you lived in the County you rarely went anywhere else apart from a ‘day trip’.
    The method of measuring the economic value of an area will have to change to reflect the different criteria.



    Agreed that a new strategic development plan for the future economic regeneration needs to be put in place. The opportunities are there. Due to the nature now of creative and technology industries there is not the same level of geographical centering that there once was. The lower rents, easy access to countryside and availability of space are all factors that would be attractive to creative or technology companies. This in turn would require an increase in number and quality of leisure and social offerings. The advantages of opening/relocating your business need to be championed, I personally would like to see an economic development outreach programme that goes to places like London, Manchester and further afield to bang the drum and attempt to bring big players in. Trying to compete with the likes of Chester is counterproductive, Wrexham needs to find a new angle. Personally I think strong links could be made with small industries across North Wales and then create Wrexham as a “gateway town” where products from all across the region can be sold, high quality North wales products that can be easily reaches from the likes of Chester, Shrewsbury and elsewhere.



    Why aren’t the Council holding meetings to discuss the Vibrant and Viable grant they have received from Welsh Government, where is the partnership approach? The responsible Executive Board members need to start asking questions of their officers.



    “The down turn in footfall in the town is reflecting the outward view that so many people now have.” should have added OF WREXHAM

    The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.



    The reality is:

    The GVA / GDP for Wrexham per head as a percentage of UK average in 1997 was 99.4% … in 2011 was 85.4% … a drop of 14%

    If we produce £10bn a year, we’re missing £1,400,000,000 out of the economy.

    £10,000 per head of population in the County.

    That would pay for so much.



    Does anyone know the GVA / GDP of Wrexham. I was told yesterday that Wrexham & Flintshire are combined in government reports, is about £6bn in total, but Wrexham is about £2.5bn as opposed to Flintshire on £3.5bn. If so, this is far smaller than you would expect? And a very small county



    May be advisable to read – National Assembly for Wales, Regional and Local GVA, Dec 2011. Paper 11/073.
    Perhaps then, the debate could be conducted on sourceable figures rather than hypotheticals.


    Just a few snippets of the GVA Report included below. Things appear rather bleak across Wales though the Report (based upon sampling methods) did reveal that East Wales was the most prosperous component. Sadly, the news is still not good for Wrexham. The prosperity in the East is neither derived from Wrexham/Flintshire or Powys but is almost completely confined to Cardiff, Monmouthshire, etc. Some lines possibly taken from context (but which is free for all to read):-

    GVA per head in Wales in 2011 was £15,696 or 75.2 per cent of the UK average. GVA per head in Wales in 2011 was the lowest of all the devolved countries and English regions and has been the lowest for the entire time period 1997 to 2011;

    GVA per head in Wales in 2011 was the lowest of all the devolved countries and English regions and has been the lowest for the entire time period 1997 to 2011

    Between 1997 and 2011 GVA per head in East Wales fell from 97.6 per cent to 92.5 per cent of the UK average.

    Between 1997 and 2011, the largest percentage point fall relative to the UK of all NUTS 3 areas in Wales was for Flintshire and Wrexham (99.4 per cent to 85.4 per cent).


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