The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called on the Welsh Government to set up an urban regeneration company for Port Talbot to help offset the impact of the 750 job losses at Tata Steel.
Speaking in the Assembly chamber today, Mr. Black said that when the steel works closed in Newport in 2003, the Welsh Government had acted decisively by setting up Newport Unlimited, an Urban Regeneration Company, to help counter the impacts of the decline in heavy industry and manufacturing. He asked the Minister to actively consider a similar response to job losses in Port Talbot.
"During the ten plus years that Newport Unlimited was in place it contributed to attracting £230 million of private investment to the area and] was credited with the transformation of the city's river frontage and attracting the Ryder Cup golf tournament to Newport in 2010," said Mr. Black. "It is my view that a similar initiative could make a massive difference in helping to revitalise Port Talbot.
"I welcome the bid by the Welsh Minister to create an Enterprise Zone that encompasses Port Talbot, but I believe that we need to go the extra mile and that the additional funding and focus that an urban regeneration company can bring to the area could make a huge difference.
"The Welsh Government needs to put its money on the table by investing in Port Talbot through such a company and by providing the business rates relief that Tata needs to reduce its costs and to help it become viable."