Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales
In September I undertook to publish an account of Welsh Government investment in the Wales NATO Summit along with an indication of the benefits to the economy. Now that the post NATO UK Investment Summit Wales 2014 has taken place we are in a position to publish an account of the cost to the Welsh Government resulting from hosting the NATO Summit and its related activities in Wales.
The bulk of Summit costs fell to the UK Government as the host state. The Welsh Government worked in close partnership with UK Government to help ensure that visitors had a good experience of Wales and to capitalise on wider benefits to the country.
The actual expenditure funded by Welsh Government totalled around £3m, broken down into two broad categories:
Delivery of a safe and successful Summit
This covered the purchase of equipment and services related to improvement, enhancement of security and resilience infrastructure, managing and maintaining the local transport network, improvements to security at Cardiff Airport putting in place emergency health cover arrangements and co-ordinating emergency services.. Most of the equipment purchased and improvements to infrastructure will be retained by the Welsh Government and/or public sector partners and will be used beyond the end of the Summit. This will help with business continuity and implementing civil contingency plans.
Promoting Wales on the world stage
This covered a range of promotional and marketing activity including events in London, Brussels and Washington; public military events in Newport and Cardiff; a reception for the international media in Newport; branding at key gateways in and around Newport and Cardiff; postcards from children to the NATO world leaders, and other promotional activities.
The NATO Wales Summit was the largest event of its kind ever held in the United Kingdom and an unprecedented opportunity to promote Wales globally. The Welsh Government, local authorities, the NHS and a range of other agencies worked with the UK Government and NATO to ensure a safe and memorable summit.
The procurement process for the Summit was led by the UK Government and it is understood that a number of Welsh suppliers secured contracts for the event. For example, Advanced Satellite Solutions from Newport provided a Fibre Infrastructure upgrade at Celtic Manor while Power Electrics of Bridgend provided the majority of Diesel generators on site. Numerous Welsh food suppliers provided products and services to events surrounding the Summit. In addition, it is understood that 24,000 bedroom nights were reserved for the summit in the cities of Newport, Cardiff and Bristol alone, providing a major boost to the tourism sector in Wales.
66 delegations attended the Summit, along with 1,500 media from around the world. All major TV news stations in the USA covered the two days in their evening news shows, including coverage of the opening banquet in Cardiff Castle. And, of course, President Obama said on camera, “you can see the extraordinary beauty, the wonderful people and great hospitality, so I’d encourage everybody in the USA to come and visit Wales”. The combined value of this publicity is literally incalculable.
The Welsh Government’s pre and post NATO media releases were picked up by a total of 550 news outlets with an Advertising Value Equivalent of some £900,000. In terms of social media, highlights included the development of a “Welcome to Wales” film, featuring Welsh talent, which has received some 13,000 views to date. The development of our ‘Wales Made’ stamp and hashtag provided Wales with an opportunity to promote Welsh businesses, tourism, food and culture under a common theme for the Summit. This was deployed on twitter both in Wales and through the network of British Embassies overseas.
The NATO Wales Summit raised the profile of Wales and we capitalised on this through the UK Investment Summit Wales held at the Celtic Manor on 21 November. This brought together global investors, business leaders, the Prime Minister and Ministers from around the world.
At the Investment Summit I announced a package of investment projects receiving Welsh Government support. The largest single project is Deloitte which will create some 700 jobs in Cardiff while other projects are in the pipeline from Griffin Place Communications in Cwmbran, Raytheon on Deeside, Smartpipe Solutions in Cwmbran, SPTS Technologies in Newport and Essentra also in Newport. Together this package creates more than 1,100 jobs. I further announced continued support for Airbus in Broughton with an £8.1million package of funding for training. This represents a fantastic vote of confidence in Wales and what we have to offer as a country. As I have said on many occasions, the best advertisement for Wales is our investors, who choose to come here because we have the people, the skills, the infrastructure and expertise to compete in the global marketplace.
The NATO Wales Conference presented Wales with a superb opportunity. The Welsh Government worked closely with the UK Government, local authorities, the NHS, police and other agencies to deliver an outstanding conference and other related events. Wales should be proud of its achievement and the reputational benefits to our country will be apparent for years to come.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.