More than 200 hundred businesses in Wales have signed up to the Welsh Government’s Economic Contract in its first year, Economy Minister Ken Skates has said.
The minister also confirmed that in the last year the Welsh Government had approved over £41 million of business support to 96 companies across Wales through its Economy Futures Fund which is designed to help businesses prepare for the challenges of the future.
The Economic Contract been expressly designed to enable the Welsh Government to develop a new and strengthened relationship with business and to drive inclusive growth and responsible business behaviours – including increasing the availability of fair work and decarbonisation.
It means that companies seeking support must now enter into an ongoing dialogue with Welsh Government and commit to a something for something approach that is built firmly on the principles of collaboration.
Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
“I am delighted that the Welsh Government’s strong and constructive relationship with business has seen us to put in place more than 210 Economic Contracts in just one year, with many more to come.
“These contracts have been agreed with companies of all shapes and sizes and across the length and breadth of Wales. Indeed, the fact that over half of the contracts are with small and microsized firms, demonstrates that we are, quite rightly, casting our net far and wide.
“Businesses across Wales have consistently taken the opportunity to engage with us and to proactively demonstrate how they are delivering against the principles of responsible growth, fair work, health, decarbonisation and skills and learning - the business behaviours that are right at heart of our Economic Action Plan.
“I am also pleased to announce that since the launch of our Calls to Action and associated Economy Futures Fund one year ago, we have successfully approved over £41 million of business support funding to 96 companies across Wales.
“Our challenge now is to continue to embed, evolve, and expand the Economic Contract and use it as a tool to help us build a fair work nation with a low carbon economy. We are making good progress on this, with the Economic Contract now embedded within the remit letters of The National Museum of Wales, The National Library, with Transport for Wales and with a new £50 million Wales Tourism Investment Fund that is being delivered in partnership with the Development Bank of Wales.
“We are also using the Economic Contract to improve working conditions within the Foundational Economy in areas like Tourism, with companies like Zip World blazing the trail and embracing the principles of the Contract through its strong contribution to the local economy and workforce and its commitment to good training opportunities and fair pay.
“The Economic Contract will evolve as the priorities of business and government evolve to help us build the prosperous, fair and resilient economy that Wales needs and deserves. It’s been a successful first year by many measures and I look forward to continued success, evolution and economic growth over the coming year and beyond.”