Major new projects announced across the country creating 20,000 jobs
The construction industry across the UK announced a welcome growth in the latter months of 2016, with a boost to 54.2 in December in the Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) from 52.8 the previous month.
With this rise comes the increase of landmark projects across the country, but nowhere more so than in Wales, where the construction industry is predicted to grow four times faster than the rest of the UK over the coming years.
Creating nearly 20,000 jobs by the year 2020, the following projects may prove momentous in instigating a seemingly unprecedented level of growth throughout Welsh construction.
This new Anglesey nuclear power station will aim to create between 8,000 and 10,000 jobs during its construction. The developer, Horizon Nuclear Power, has yet to submit a planning application, thus the validity of this project remains unclear. However, due to favourable governmental positions with regards to nuclear power, the project seems highly likely to be given the go ahead. If approved, construction will likely begin in 2020.
Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
Now endorsed by the ex-energy minister, Charles Hendry, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon looks an optimal solution to help the government achieve pressing Clean Energy targets. Mr Hendry, who has conducted an independent review of tidal power concludes this to be a reliable and efficient source of affordable, sustainable energy. With the government’s backing and upon receiving essential funding, the project could begin as early as next year and create around 2,000 jobs. Larger lagoons are also being planned in Cardiff, Newport and Colwyn Bay, which could lead to peak construction levels around 2020.
M4 Relief Road
The much-debated M4 relief road is set to be reviewed under public enquiry this year. After battling for almost 27 years to select the route and decongest essential road links between Cardiff and Newport, opposition to the government’s proposed black route is strong. Environmentalists argue that the £1.1 billion construction of the road will cause irreparable damage to historic landscapes surrounding the Gwent Levels and the endangered species which reside there.
South Wales Metro
The £5 billion project for South Wales Metro will see several phases of construction over the coming 20 years. Additional routes, the electrification of the Valley Lines and potential new station locations could support the regeneration of the local surrounding areas. Park and ride facilities may also signal a more integrated approach to transport within Wales, with a joined-up method being employed across train, bus and cycle routes. This could lead to increased commercial viability and boosted tourism rates across the country.
Swansea Waterfront Innovation Quarter
HSBC has recently confirmed funding for the initial phase of the regeneration project to create a multi-million-pound campus in Swansea. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) aims to use the space to promote collaborative working between businesses and students and provide vital economic stability and growth for the SA1 area of the city. Employing a renowned sustainability expert, the university clearly seeks to remain favourable with environmentalists and government officials.
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