Thursday, 11 November 2010

Anglesey and job creation - Part I

What are the barriers stopping new companies from setting up on the island, especially SME’s the backbone of any country? The European Union define SME's as any company with more than 10 employees or a turnover of 2 million euro’s. They have various categories starting with a micro SME.

It is education?

As can be seen from the chart below (from ONS), the island in comparison with the remainder of the country is equal if not better.

So its unlikely to be down to lack of a educated workforce.

Is it lack of grants?

Anglesey has access to an array of business grants, a large proportion of which is from the European Union. So it seems it cant be due to lack of grants.

What about access to markets?

It depends on the product, for example the Outer Hebrides; which are far more remote than Anglesey, have a successful fishing industry. Fishing in the Outer Hebrides is a high value industry with shellfish accounting for 90% of landings. They support around 400 full-time jobs plus another 250 jobs in processing and other directly related activities onshore. Also fish farming supports 150 on-farm jobs together with another 170 employed in processing. The industry has an annual production income of around £60m. (Details from Outer Hebrides Coastal Marine Patnership)

In other words quality premium food products that can attract premium prices, which makes them viable. Think of Anglesey and the successful sea salt company another premium product.

Otherwise, in terms of production, location, and access to markets, Anglesey will always loose out to the North East of Wales. Think of the number of 'ordinary' food companies who have tried and failed on the island and compare them to the likes of Tomlinson Dairies of Coedpoeth and Village Bakery of the same village.

Is it infrastructure?

In terms of roads and boats, there is good road access to and from the populated areas of the North East of Wales and North West of England and very good sea access to the Irish markets.

However, in terms of broadband Anglesey would score poorly, and is at a disadvantage if trying to attract new technology firms.

In part 2 I shall build on the above and make some suggestions as to a way forward for employment on the island.

1 comment:

Paul Williams said...

Very interesting as always - i look forward to part 2.