Port of Milford Haven

The Future of Ports

In March, the Port of Milford Haven hosted an event at the National Assembly for Wales. The event brought together Assembly Members, Welsh Government, councillors and key business leaders to unveil two major projects: ‘Pembroke Dock Marine’ and the 'Milford Waterfront Development'.
Attendees also heard about the role of ports in driving Welsh economic prosperity, and the conditions needed to generate further business growth following Brexit.

highlights from the speech

An introduction

Monumental changes are taking place in the way Wales and the UK work together in trading with the rest of the world. Ports account for 95% of goods traded in and out of the country. They are a vital part of the national infrastructure and will play a key role in securing a buoyant economy. But they need support.

Early understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing Welsh ports - and recognising the ways Government can shape port development - will skilfully position Wales to best advantage within this dynamic environment.

We share the same goals as the Welsh Government – to create jobs and encourage economic growth, to attract investment, and to create opportunities for all. Ports can help to position Wales as a world facing nation and to secure a bright, more prosperous future for the people of Wales.

We know that nothing is forever. On the Milford Haven Waterway, our established industries are facing new challenges and we know we have to create the right environment to support them – and to attract new industries and new investment. To encourage the growth of more indigenous business and intellectual property.

About Pembroke Dock Marine

The Oil & Gas industry has driven the establishment of an extensive, highly-skilled supply chain in Pembrokeshire. These skills are now in high demand by the region’s emergent marine renewables sector. In Pembroke Dock Marine, part of the Swansea Bay City Deal, we look to create a full service site that adds value during development, test and operational phases.

Pembroke Dock Marine will unlock opportunities for Welsh businesses – large and small. It is a highly skilled sector that has the potential to make a vital contribution to Welsh productivity, and increase export potential and the development of indigenous intellectual property. It will strengthen the supply chain’s ability to continue supporting the existing sector and allow companies like Valero to keep investing. And, critically, it will create skilled employment opportunities for today and for future generations.

About the wider applications

The blue and green economies are already demonstrating great promise for Wales – from renewables to ship building and aquaculture to marine leisure. Only yesterday it was confirmed that the Port’s piSCES project (in partnership with Waterford Institute, Cardiff University and Bord Iascaig Mhara (pronounced Bored ish ka Mara)) will receive 1.8m Euros through the EU’s Ireland-Wales co-operation programme. It will test a new ‘smart grid’ software platform on the Port’s electricity network with a view to reducing energy costs in the fisheries sector.

About Milford Waterfront

The Milford Haven Waterway offers 22 miles of sheltered navigable water and is one of the country’s top marine leisure destinations – it plays a key part in Wales’ strong tourism reputation. Poised to further strengthen its reputation is Milford Waterfront.  This is a flagship project for the region creating 380,000 sq ft of additional leisure and retail space around the existing marina. A year round destination capable of hosting international events and delivering a strong digital presence. It is at the heart of a designated Welsh Government Zero Carbon Zone and will deploy intelligent design to create an environmentally sustainable space. It will create opportunities for many. 

This is not just about tomorrow, it is about today. Milford Waterfront is already in progress and we have just signed and received planning consent for the first commercial deal. Milford Waterfront is expected to deliver close to 600 additional jobs and deliver an anticipated GVA of £19m per annum. It will open up new opportunities for Pembrokeshire, the wider Swansea Bay City Region and for Wales.

Closing words

Brexit is changing all the rules. Wales’ First Minister last week underlined the critical impact on Wales of a poorly applied border relationship. It’s a vital point, and one that can be extended further because ports are not just ‘transit gateways’ they are highly productive sites capable of unlocking significant added value. After all, it’s no coincidence that Ports are at the heart of some of the world’s key trading centres. 

Wales must realise the value locked away in its ports. They need your time and your support. They need the right policies and the right strategic alignment to deliver jobs, economic growth and healthier, happier, more prosperous communities.
Come and visit us to find out more.

Please follow this link for the press release.