Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Make Wrexham ‘finance capital of Wales’ with new bank and revenue hub

Plaid Cymru AM's call for greater devolution to the North

The new Development Bank of Wales should be headquartered in Wrexham to develop the town as the ‘finance capital of Wales’, according to Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd.

Mr Gruffydd made his call after the Welsh Government announced the new institution would be based in north Wales. Plaid Cymru had pushed for the new bank, which would provide support and funding for new and small businesses, as part of the £119m compact it agreed with the Welsh Government after the May elections. The Development Bank was one of Plaid Cymru’s nine key election pledges.

Mr Gruffydd said: 
“I’m delighted this new bank will be located in the North and Wrexham would be an ideal base for the bank. Wrexham should also be the home of the new Welsh Revenue Authority, which will collect taxes on behalf of the Welsh Government.
 "We have long argued that devolution of power should mean that key institutions are based throughout Wales and this is a step in the right direction. Together, the Development Bank for Wales and the Welsh Revenue Authority would create the basis of making Wrexham the finance capital of Wales.”

The Development Bank’s priority is to help small and medium businesses in Wales to access finance more easily and specifically to address funding that new and micro enterprises can struggle to access.

Mr Gruffydd added: 
“There are skilled financial sector staff in Wrexham already and plenty of suitable office space. The decision by the HMRC to move its tax offices from Wrexham to Bootle in the coming years offers both experienced staff and potential office space to develop the town as the finance capital of Wales.

"I very much hope the minister will take careful consideration of Wrexham as a location when he makes his final decision next year and that Wrexham Council can work to make this a reality.”

• The 350 workers currently employed at HMRC's Wrexham are due to be re-located to Bootle or made redundant by 2020-1 as part of the UK Government's centralisation of tax services.



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