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Call for return of DBRW and WDA

Created on 22/02/2021 @ 12:14
Elements of a former Newtown-based economic agency should be brought back to help the region recover from coronavirus, according to Montgomerysire's Member of the Senedd.

Russell George MS made the call at the launch of one of the first Welsh Parliament Conservative manifesto launches over the weekend.

The party has called for the "best bits" of the Development Board for Rural Wales and Welsh Development Agency to be re-established.

The DBRW was merged into the WDA in 1999 and the WDA was then scrapped with its staff and work integrated into the Welsh Government.

"Our plan is to rebuild Wales by creating new skilled jobs across a range of sectors. We have an ambitious plan which will support new firms and encourage existing businesses to grow and export, and will move us away from the command-and-control economy of the current Welsh Government.

"To help revive the Welsh economy, we would bring back the very best of the hugely successful Welsh Development Agency (WDA) and Development Board for Rural Wales as well as bringing together the Development Bank of Wales and Business Wales.

"Our aim would be to create a more nimble, agile, and dynamic business entity to respond to the needs of firms large and small after the pandemic. This one-stop shop for business would be arms-length from the stranglehold of Welsh Government and would drive new opportunities for inward investment and private sector growth into all four corners of Wales."

Mr George added that a re-established WDA forms a central pillar of Welsh Conservative policy to rebuild Wales post-Covid, noting: "The WDA's reintroduction would give Welsh firms a much-needed cutting edge, as we seek to take advantage of the opportunities provided by Brexit, and would build capacity in a creaking economy in desperate need of a turbo-charge.

"With the challenges we face moving forward, and with the Welsh Government's disastrous two decade track record of economic mismanagement, it’s time we put on the afterburners in Wales and inject some real urgency to help the private sector to thrive."