An influential business group helped pave the way for two major economy-boosting projects in Wrexham, it’s been revealed.
According to Welsh Government Economy Secretary Ken Skates, the work of Wrexham Business Professionals was crucial when deciding to invest in the town.
Mr Skates has announced the new Development Bank of Wales will be sited in Wrexham.
He has also revealed that a new innovation hub that’s set to create 100 new businesses and more than 250 job is also going there.
Mr Skates, who is also the Clwyd South AM, believes the new jobs created by both projects will help transform Wrexham’s economic prospects.
Much of the credit for choosing Wrexham, he said, should go to Wrexham Business Professionals.
The group has gone from strength to strength since it was established eight years ago.
It is made up of successful businesses and highly skilled professional firms of solicitors, accountants and other business professionals working together to raise the profile of enterprise and expertise that exists in the region and beyond.
Their meetings have been addressed by a series of high profile guest speakers, ranging from the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, to leading entrepreneurs and senior politicians including First Minister Carwyn Jones.
The last meeting when Ken Skates was the keynote speaker was attended by around 170 of the area’s business leaders.
The group also campaigned in favour of building the UK’s largest prison in Wrexham because of the massive economic benefits it will bring to the region.
Mr Skates said: “Wrexham Business Professionals has developed into a hugely successful and influential organisation.
“Under the chairmanship of Gill Kreft, the group has shown great leadership on a number of issues on the years.
“They have fostered a positive pro-business approach that is helping Wrexham regain its status as an economic powerhouse.
“I really am incredibly impressed by what Gill and the rest of the group have achieved with Wrexham Business Professionals.
“I genuinely don’t think we would be where we are right now with the Development Bank of Wales and the Innovation Hub if it wasn’t for the fantastic work of the group in helping to create the right environment for these projects.
“What they are doing has been crucial in creating the confidence to invest in Wrexham.
“With their help, the town has a huge opportunity to become known as a centre of excellence for financial services and innovation and there are also particular strengths in the area in life sciences and the digital economies.
“I’m very optimistic for the future of the economy in Wrexham.”
Gill Kreft said: “We are very grateful to Ken Skates for his kind words and it is gratifying to know we are playing our part in forging a brighter future for Wrexham.
“We believe the town has huge potential and the business community is creating wealth and prosperity that is radiating out across the region.
“An important part of the our ethos is fostering collaboration. We value our links with Government, nationally and regionally, major institutions such as the Bank of England, education Wrexham partners like Glyndwr University and Coleg Cambria along with other business groups such as Deeside Business Forum, Wrexham Industrial Estate and local groups.
“We have been privileged to welcome giants of industry, entrepreneurs and business leaders to help us promote investment and job creation so we can power up regional prosperity for all.
“Linking up with the Northern Powerhouse will also help us generate more opportunities to reenergise the regional economy.”