Can Anglesey have its £48 million back please?

Apart from owning a sweet shop for a couple of years, which was an abject failure as a business venture (mainly due to my own sweet tooth eating into the profits) my working life has either been in the true public sector or the quasi public sector (where private businesses are paid by the government for providing public services). So I can't pretend to understand how the real business world works.

Because I am venturing into a subject that I know little about this post might be a load of codswallop. If it is I would appreciate a word from the more business savvy of my readers to explain where I am going wrong.

Last June the Assembly and Westminster governments offered RTZ, the owners of Anglesey Aluminium a £48 million package to help secure the plants future. The offer was refused, and as a result about 400 well paid jobs will be lost on the island.

The £48 million to save 400 jobs that was offered (and turned down because it wasn't enough) works out at just short of a quarter of a million pounds per job!

This is where I get confused, if those jobs were worth a quarter of a million each, and if the cash was available to save them at that price, why aren't there 400 grants of a similar size available to 400 individuals on the island to create 400 new businesses after RTZ said No?

Indeed a quarter of the price of each job would be a huge boost to anybody wanting to start up an SME! The £48 million offered to RTZ could be £30k each to help start up 1,600 new Anglesey companies, and if each of those companies employed just one individual each that would be 3,200 jobs for the price of 400!

If the £48 million had been spread a little thinner it could have given £1,500 to each and every working age person on the island as a deposit towards self employment!

In short if the governments have £48 million to spare as (turned down) backhanders to billion pound turnover companies, why isn't that cash available to new Welsh entrepreneurs?

If Wales needs to get out of its public service culture, shouldn't we be using these multi million pound "grants" to encourage the creation of indigenous companies, rather than subsidising multinationals?

Despite the fact that I am a nurse, a public servant and part of the Welsh public service problem, I do appreciate the need for a vibrant indigenous Welsh capitalism.

If Wales is ever to stand on its own two feet it needs interim government financial support aimed towards the creation of Welsh owned businesses, rather than that support only being available to externally owned labour intensive multinationals (Like RTZ) that just happen to be in Wales whilst it suits them.


  1. The bit I don't get is this. Wales is hugely energy rich. In fact, we export much of it. We have massive reserves of tidal - Menai and Hafren - and hydro power, plus off-shore wind if we need it. We might even permit a few on-shore wind factories if they don't ruin our landscape. We don't need nuclear nor a 20 metre concrete dam across the Sabrina.

    So why could we not almost give it away to Anglesey Aluminium? I can think of two reasons. They did not want to manufacture in Wales under any circumstances. Or the privatised energy companies would not give up their pound of flesh.

    I have not seen any analysis of why AA closed or the details of the UK government offer. Does anybody have this?

  2. Its common sense Alwyn and DET el al don't buy into or understand that
    I am angry about the way that Anglesey with so much need is not being supported
    That's why I too posted on it along with TOP ,so some of us see further than the competition in the Bay.

  3. £48m going to one factory is a massive amount. AA turned it down, it is their fault, they clearly wanted to get out of Ynys Mon at the earliest chance, and bedamned to their responsibilities to their loyal workforce and the island.

    What i'm concerned at is that Peter Hain appeared to work very hard, as did Albert Owen, in trying to secure the deal. Yet now, I have not heard anything from him except related to the nuclear power plant.

    There seems to be no effort whatsoever from Hain to support alternative forms of employment on Ynys Mon, where £48m (equivalent the value of Wales' entire Pro-Act budget) would make a huge difference.

    If they could stump that up for a multi-national company why can't they stump it up for small Welsh businesses? Not as many votes in it perhaps? Labour MPs do like their prestige projects.