Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Business

WG invests another £6m in Cardiff Airport

Published

on

Cash injection queried: Conservatives question £6m equity deal

THE WELSH Government has invested an additional £6m in Cardiff Airport with the facility performing ahead of expectations, according to economy secretary Ken Skates.

With the airport hitting targets sooner than expected, the government believes the introduction of additional private equity is moving closer.

The money will be used to improve terminal buildings.

Roger Lewis, chairman at Cardiff Airport said: “On behalf of the board of Cardiff Airport I thank our shareholder, the Welsh Government.

“This is a ringing endorsement of confidence in the Airport business and will enable us to continue to grow, develop and serve our customers, our people and Wales.”

Skates added: “This is clearly an investment not just into the airport, but into Wales.

“Our £6m equity injection in exchange of common shares is expected to increase the equity value of the airport by around £12m. We would not be investing this heavily if we had not had sound evidence that the airport is succeeding in its plan to move towards profitability.

“When I launched our Economic Action Plan at the end of 2017, I recognised the importance of connectivity within Wales, the rest of the UK and the world, to businesses and people. Clearly, for South Wales, Cardiff Airport is a fundamental part of the solution.

“Since we acquired the airport, it has seen year-on-year growth in passenger numbers, which are now nearing 1.5m a year. This is a nine per cent year on year passenger growth, on top of 16 per cent growth in 2016.

“Performance is ahead of the company’s projections, and the airlines taking off from Cardiff fly direct to over 50 destinations including 9 capital cities, and to over 900 destinations via 11 hub airports.

“This, alongside the launch of Qatar Airways which strengthens Cardiff Airport as a gateway for Wales to the wider world, shows very clearly some of the achievements reached to date.”

Just weeks ago, the airport’s Chief Executive, Roger Lewis, revealed plans to attract private sector investment in the airport to pay for a new terminal.

The Economy Secretary, at the time, also confirmed that the Welsh Government expect private sector investment to form part of the airport’s “long term masterplan”.

However, Shadow Economy Secretary, Russell George, said: “If the outlook for the airport is as positive as the Welsh Government claims, you have to ask why they’ve been unable to secure private investment.

“Frankly, a cash injection of this kind is usually taken as a sign of a company in financial distress – not a company on the up and up.

“We all want to see the airport succeed, but we have been repeatedly told that the route to success is through private equity. Now we see another cash injection of taxpayer cash.

“It’s not the long term master plan we were sold by the Cabinet Secretary in January.

“Welsh Conservatives will continue to support the Chief Executive in his efforts to make the airport a success, but Welsh taxpayers will understandably roll their eyes at news of another bailout by the Welsh Government.”

Business

Online conference will give everyone a say on transport in South West Wales

Published

on

ANYONE interested in helping to shape the future of transport in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea is invited to attend a major online event that aims to set out a clear plan for transport in the region.

This event, titled Moving Forward Together – Regional Transport Conference – South West Wales, is organised by 4theRegion and Swansea Environmental Forum and sponsored by South West Wales Connected community rail partnership and Natural Resources Wales. It runs in the mornings of Tuesday, February 9 and Wednesday, February 10, beginning at 10 am on the Tuesday with an opening address from Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy & Transport, Welsh Government.

The conference will provide an open forum to explore key transport challenges and opportunities, and design new solutions to move towards a greener, cleaner, healthier, more inclusive and better-connected transport system for our region.

Topics to be discussed include the transport needs of local communities, how businesses address staff transport needs, innovative approaches to travel, potential for investments and what it would really take for people to leave their cars at home more often.

Participants will get their say on what the government should be investing in, what the local authorities could be doing, and how people, communities and businesses can be part of the solution.

Organisations, businesses and community groups involved in travel and transport in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and/or Swansea, are also being invited to get in touch regarding opportunities to showcase their work at this event.

Dawn Lyle, Chair of 4theRegion, said: “It’s time to take a fresh look at how we can better connect our region whilst reducing carbon emissions and improving health and well-being. This is an inclusive online event for car users, transport users, cyclists and pedestrians, even if you’ve never been involved in conversations about transport before. If you care about South West Wales and want to see our region flourish in the years to come, please get involved!”

If you represent an organisation, business or community group involved in travel and transport in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and/or Swansea, and would like to showcase your work at this event, email Zoe@4theregion.com.

Philip McDonnell, Coordinator for Swansea Environmental Forum and Low Carbon Swansea Bay added: “As we journey towards a low carbon society, transport is lagging behind and remains one of the most challenging issues in both rural and urban areas in our region. The current situation is simply bad for our health and totally unsustainable. We will need everyone to get on board if we are going to tackle this.”

Continue Reading

Business

Local businesses to benefit from Supreme Court insurance ruling

Published

on

THE SUPREME COURT has largely ruled in favour of policyholders and the City regulator in the landmark business interruption insurance case. 

In a judgment handed down today, the court said it “substantially allowed” the appeal by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and campaign groups Hiscox Action Group and Hospitality Insurance Group Action. 

Tens of thousands of small businesses will receive insurance pay-outs across the UK covering losses from the first national lockdown. There are thought to be hundreds of businesses in Pembrokeshire which will benefit from the ruling.

One of the judges, Lord Briggs, said in the ruling: “On the insurers’ case, the cover apparently provided for business interruption caused by the effects of a national pandemic type of notifiable disease was in reality illusory, just when it might have been supposed to have been most needed by policyholders.

“That outcome seemed to me to be clearly contrary to the spirit and intent of the relevant provisions of the policies in issue.”

The insurers Arch, Argenta, Hiscox, MS Amlin, RSA and QBE, have had their appeals dismissed. 

The ruling will provide guidance for a further 700 policies, potentially affecting up to 400,000 policyholders.

Richard Leedham, partner at Mishcon de Reya who represents the Hiscox Action Group today said: “The judgment should be a massive boost to all businesses reeling from a third lockdown who can now demand their claims are paid.”

“The hope and expectation of our clients is that the claim adjustment process starts immediately and that insurers will not continue to cause further distress by further unnecessary delay.”   

Following today’s decision the insurance industry is expected to pay out over £1.8bn in coronavirus claims related to the first lockdown, which includes business interruption policies.

The FCA, which brought the test case, said: “We will be working with insurers to ensure that they now move quickly to pay claims that the judgment says should be paid, making interim payments wherever possible.”

Huw Evans, director general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) confirmed insurers would settle claims as soon as possible.

“Customers who have made claims that are affected by the test case will be contacted by their insurer to discuss what the judgment means for their claim. All valid claims will be settled as soon as possible and in many cases the process of settling claims has begun,” he said after the judgment.

Continue Reading

Business

Welsh Government reminding hauliers to be prepared for changes at ports

Published

on

FOLLOWING the expected quiet start to the New Year at Welsh ports and with freight levels expected to rise over the next few days, the Welsh Government said it is reminding hauliers to be prepared for the changes which are now in place

To transport goods from Great Britain to Ireland, including from Welsh ports, hauliers need a Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) from the Irish Revenue.  Without it they will not be able to enter the port to board the ferry, and will be turned away.

Since January 1 around 20 per cent of HGVs have been turned away because they do not have the correct paperwork.

With an increase in freight traffic expected, more hauliers could be turned away.  Forecasts from the UK Government have predicted between 40 and 70 per cent of hauliers could be turned away from ports.

Contingency plans are in place at Holyhead to minimise any potential disruption to the port, town and community as a result of HGVs being turned away.  Hauliers without the correct paperwork will be redirected along the contraflow on the A55 to Junction 4 where they will turn off and join the westbound carriageway where they will either be stacked while they sort their paperwork, or be redirected to Parc Cybi.

Minister for Transport and North Wales Ken Skates said: “When we announced our contingency plans for Holyhead Port we said the New Year period was expected to be quiet, following a very high level of freight passing through the port before Christmas.  Mid-January is expected to be the peak period for HGVs being turned away.

“Many hauliers are prepared for the changes which are now in place as a result of the EU Transition period.  But, as the experience of the first few days have shown, as expected there are a number who are not.  I would urge all hauliers and freight companies which transport goods from Welsh ports to Ireland to familiarise themselves with the process and ensure they have a Pre-Boarding Notification ID before they arrive at the port.

Pembroke Port (Pic MHPA)

“Our contingency plans are there to minimise disruption for the port itself and the wider community.  They are in place and ready to be used should the need arise and as we approach mid-January we will be reaching a busier time for freight at the port.  We will keep our plans under constant review.”

Anglesey Council Leader, Councillor Llinos Medi, added, “We’re working closely with Welsh Government, North Wales Police, Port Authority and other key partners to ensure safe and efficient trade and traffic movement through the Port of Holyhead, whilst protecting our local communities.”

“Given the expected increase in freight volume over the coming weeks, I would echo the Minister’s call for hauliers to be prepared when they reach the Port of Holyhead. Despite contingencies being in place, I would also ask local residents and businesses to bear in mind the impact that any potential traffic congestion in the Holyhead area and on the A55 could have on their lives and daily routines, and to plan any essential journeys accordingly.”

Continue Reading
News7 hours ago

Storm Christoph set to batter Wales says Met Office [Video]

STORM Christoph will cause heavy rain and flooding in Wales on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Met Office has said....

News12 hours ago

Enabling works start at regeneration site in Pembroke

WORK has started on the highly anticipated South Quay regeneration project in Pembroke. Ambitious plans by Pembrokeshire County Council will...

News13 hours ago

Stephen Crabb MP to defy whips on Universal Credit uplift

PRESELI MP Stephen Crabb will defy the Conservative whip for the first time today. The former Work and Pensions Secretary...

News13 hours ago

The Llangolman Murders: Cooper and a string of coincidences

IT’S December in Pembrokeshire – the run up to Christmas – and the bodies of two wealthy siblings are found...

News16 hours ago

Conservatives attack Mark Drakeford for saying delivering vaccine ‘a marathon, not a sprint’

THE CONSERVATIVES’ Shadow Health Minister, Andrew RT Davies, fiercely criticised Mark Drakeford after the First Minister’s appearance on Radio Four’s...

News3 days ago

Police investigating asylum seeker protests for possible breach of coronavirus rules

DYFED-POWYS POLICE says it is investigating the recent protests by service users at the Asylum Accommodation Centre, Penally. The initial...

News4 days ago

Flo Evans: Was Cooper responsible?

‘THE PEMBROKESHIRE MURDERS’ has brought the crimes of local man, John Cooper, back to the forefront of our minds. A...

News4 days ago

Puppies and ‘large quantity’ of alcohol stolen from Bramble Hall Farm

DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of four puppies and a large quantity of alcohol from Bramble Hall Farm,...

News4 days ago

Business grants: Find answers to frequently asked questions

A SERIES of frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to Covid-19 business grants has been put together by Pembrokeshire County Council....

News5 days ago

Asylum seekers from Penally Camp demonstrate in Tenby town centre

FOR the second day in a row asylum seekers currently being housed at the former Penally Army Training camp gathered...

Popular This Week