EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Ministry of Defence

Ministry of Defence

Geographic Location

Country: United Kingdom
Region: Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan; East Wales; Wales
Location of affected unit(s): St Athan


Sector: Public administration and defence
Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
84.22 - Defence activities

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 17-01-2007
Type of Restructuring: Business expansion
Planned Job Creation: 4000

Additional Information

The government has confirmed that a new defence training academy will be based at St Athan, creating 4,000 jobs at the site and others in the local economy. The investment, estimated at 16 billion GBP, is the single largest seen in Wales, and follows setbacks in securing the site as a centre of aviation excellence. The academy will teach skills from aeronautical engineering to security to some 10,000 armed forces personnel. For Welsh Secretary Peter Hain it was simply 'fantastic news'. He said: 'These are very high class jobs, permanent jobs for generations to come with a state-of-the-art defence academy bringing all the three forces, RAF, Army and Navy, together and south Wales is the world class facility chosen.' It is hoped the economic benefits would reverberate across south Wales. First Minister Rhodri Morgan said the bid had been a competition with 'incredibly high stakes'. 'Team Wales was up against the toughest possible competition in the bidding process - but we were able to show that we had the best location, the best facilities, the best workforce and the best environment.' Vale of Glamorgan MP John Smith had been 'very confident' St Athan would win the bid. '[The plans] are absolutely huge. It will be the biggest single investment ever in Wales of any kind. It will be by far bigger, for example, than the entire London Olympic bid.'