Hitachi/Horizon’s decision to withdraw their planning application for Wylfa Newydd marks the end of the road for their project. The UK Government ultimatly failed to deliver, and there’s a real cost to that in terms of long-term job opportunities.
We have to concentrate in the immediate future on growing other employment opportunities – new projects and those already in the pipeline. Many are in the energy sector – offshore tidal, wave and wind, creating green jobs, developing new technologies that can be exported to the world, and bringing investment to the port of Holyhead.
The M-Sparc science park, and our School of Ocean Sciences can and will be a hub for research and development for that and other technology and digital ventures. I’m looking forward to Plaid Cymru being given a chance to establish its Ynni Cymru/Energy Wales body here on the island.
And of course the Wylfa site itself and the skills developed there over many years remain very valuable, potentially for a smaller development that could ultimately be more sustainable for our communities. I’ve already spoken with potential developers. But we can’t build up hopes until we know there’s a realistic deliverable plan.
Of course, we have much more than energy to offer. We have exciting businesses across many sectors. We can do so much more in food production, and there are opportunities to develop homegrown and locally-driven tourism and hospitality ventures.
I know Wylfa divided opinion in many ways, and I’ve always respected the different views held. Today’s announcement will be welcomed by some, but it is a real blow to others, many of whom I know well, who had hoped for speedy progress on the Wylfa plan for the opportunities it represented. Now we must all focus on all those new and existing opportunities than can and will give hope to them and generations to come here on Ynys Môn.