- Posted by: Ken Skates MS
- Category: News
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The Wrexham-based Development Bank of Wales is doing an ‘incredible’ job in turbulent economic times, says Member of the Senedd Ken Skates.
The Clwyd South MS, who launched the first bank of its kind in the UK during his time as Economy Minister, said he was proud to see it going from strength to strength.
According to the most recent numbers from the Office for National Statistics, the Welsh economy is growing faster than the rest of the UK – which Mr Skates said makes a mockery of Liz Truss’ recent claim Labour is ‘anti-growth’.
He said: “The Welsh Government created the Development Bank to operate where there was market failure and to support economic opportunity by making finance available to viable businesses. It has done that in spades, with a total impact of £1.2bn in its first five years. That’s £1.2bn created in Wales, for the Welsh economy, which simply wouldn’t be there otherwise.
“The Development Bank has hit numbers which far exceed its initial ambitions. Particularly now, in such uncertain times, its role has never been more important. We are all in for an extremely rough ride because of the ineptitude and fiscal irresponsibility of this chaotic UK Government, but the bank is doing an incredible job and I’m proud to see it going from strength to strength.”
Since its launch, the Development Bank of Wales has become one of the most active venture capital investors in the UK. In 2021/22, it invested £109.1m – an increase of £3.6m on the previous year. The last financial year saw 519 investments in over 460 businesses all over Wales.
Mr Skates said: “We were particularly keen for the bank to be based in North Wales, and we chose Wrexham. North Wales is now seeing the benefits of that decision, with our region benefiting particularly well from the bank’s investment’s last year.
“The confidence being shown in our business by the Development Bank has driven record levels of co-investment, with private sector investors recognising the potential of Welsh companies.”
The bank also has targeted property funds, which back small and medium-sized developers to build new homes, offices and mixed-use developments. Of the 223 properties built in Wales as a direct result of Development Bank investment, 50 were in Wrexham county borough.
The bank’s chief executive, Giles Thorley, said the key priorities for the years ahead will remain a focus on decarbonisation and supporting firms’ transitions to Net Zero.
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