MILFORD Haven will become an enterprise zone, it was confirmed this week, bringing ‘huge benefits’ to the local economy according to a local Assembly Member.

Preseli PembrokeshireAM Paul Davies welcomed the announcement from Business Minister Edwina Hart, who confirmed that the zone will be located at the Haven Waterway and was chosen because of its importance to the energy sector.

Mr Davies said: “Thirty per cent of the UK’s energy supplies now come via Pembrokeshire, and an enterprise zone at the Haven Waterway will give us the opportunity to develop further energy businesses.

“I am also delighted that Nick Bourne will step in as the interim chairman of the Haven Waterway. His experience and expertise will help ensure the success of this enterprise zone.”

Mr Davies said that there would be a number of additional benefits to having an enterprise zone based in Pembrokeshire, including the roll out of high-speed broadband and further transport infrastructure enhancements.

Deputy director of Renewable UK Cymru, Llywelyn Rhys, said: “Clearly these zones offer huge potential for the deployment of renewable energy that will assist Wales’ transition towards a low carbon economy. We must now move towards formulating a clearer and coherent plan to maximise these opportunities.

“While there remains much to be decided with regard to the Enterprise Zone, this is definitely good news for Milford Haven and Pembrokeshire.

I look forward to hearing more information as it becomes available.”

MP Simon Hart said it was fitting that the waterway and its strategic importance has been recognised.

“I have already stressed to the Welsh Assembly that they shouldn’t become fixated on Enterprise Zones being all about money and grants, too often it comes with too many strings attached.

“It’s more important that being made an Enterprise Zone is about safely relaxing regulation and making it easier for industry and business to operate. This would be the best way to unlock entrepreneurial skills and business opportunities for everybody in the area.”

Chairman of the Milford Haven Regeneration Group and town mayor Guy Woodham also welcomed the announcement.

“While there remains much to be decided with regard to the Enterprise Zone this is definitely good news for Milford Haven and Pembrokeshire.”