Important step in development of Llanbedr Aerospace Centre
Important step in development of Llanbedr Aerospace
The development of Snowdonia Aerospace Centre at Llanbedr will take an important step forward over the coming weeks, as a planning application for a new access road to the site is submitted by Gwynedd Council to the Snowdonia National Park.
The Llanbedr site began life as an RAF camp in 1941, acting as a fighter station during World War Two, and then a training centre, before becoming a specialist location for the development of Unmanned Aircraft from 1952 until its closure in 2004.
Local Gwynedd Councillor for the Llanbedr ward, Annwen Hughes said: “I am delighted that firm steps are now being taken to bring this strategically important site back to life. Over 150 people lost well-paid jobs when the site closed in 2004, and as local councillor I have been campaigning to restore activity to the airfield. The submission of a planning application for a new access road is a clear sign that all relevant partners want to bring good employment opportunities for local people back to this site.”
The site was taken on by Welsh Government, and leased to its current owners, Snowdonia Aerospace in 2012. Since then, the site has become designated as part of the Welsh Government’s Snowdonia Enterprise Zone, and infrastructure improvements on site have created a firm bedrock to allow the development of new Remotely Piloted Air Systems technologies at the centre once again.
Dr John Idris Jones, Chair of Snowdonia Enterprise Zone Advisory Board noted: “It became clear very early on that the restricted access to the site was a key barrier to investment. We want the world’s technology companies to know that Snowdonia Aerospace Centre is open for business, and the development of a quality access road makes that message very clear.”
Councillor Mandy Williams-Davies who leads on the Economy for Gwynedd Council explained: “The construction of a new access road will not in itself create employment, but we are very clear that without this critical enabling work, the site cannot attract the investors it needs to develop and contribute to the Meirionnydd economy. The residents of Dwyfor-Meirionnydd currently bring home one of the lowest average weekly wages of anywhere in the UK – that simply isn’t sustainable, and we are determined to do all we can to improve employment opportunities in the area. We firmly believe that putting the necessary infrastructure in place for the Llanbedr site will boost the chances for success at this strategically important location.”
Site owners Snowdonia Aerospace Centre have worked closely with the Welsh Government and Gwynedd Council in the redevelopment of the site. Chief Executive Lee Paul explained: “Access to the site has been a stumbling block time after time in securing developments on site – we are thrilled to see steps are being taken to address this situation, which could make all the difference in developing the site to be a key part of Wales’ Remotely Piloted Air Systems offer.”