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WDA's land division report
The Welsh Development Agency's (WDA) Land Division recorded positive progress in encouraging the creation of development opportunities throughout Wales during the financial year 1998-1999. The performance was particularly notable as it came during a period of significant change, with the Land Division being formed as a result of the Land Authority for Wales' successful merger into the WDA.
Highlights for the Land Division included:
The progression of a wide range of schemes providing land and infrastructure for urban regeneration, residential developments, investment opportunities and employment uses.
The disposal of 275 hectares of land with a value of some £13 million.
The disposal of land for 94,000 square metres of industrial/commercial floorspace.
A pre-tax profit of £5 million.
Other successes highlighted in the WDA's Annual Report include the creation/safeguarding of 15,663 jobs, 6,431 of which were located away from the key development areas alongside the A55 and M4 corridors. WDA programmes also assisted Welsh companies in winning £34 million worth of new business.
Nic Neal, Managing Director of the Land Division, said:
In what was a year of considerable change for the Division and mixed market conditions, I am delighted that we have continued to perform well. A particular priority has been to remove barriers to the growth of indigenous businesses and inward investors due to site acquisition and assembly problems. We have also been putting emphasis on continuing to build effective partnerships with the public and private sectors and the regions of the WDA.
Property-based projects in 1998-1999 included making sites available for residential developments in Prestatyn, Colwyn, Llandullas and Denbigh in a focused effort to spread North Wales investment away from the A55 corridor.
Strategic industrial sites were also made available, including a 50 hectare site at Brocastle, Bridgend, where the road and associated infrastructure are also being funded by the Land and Regional Divisions of the WDA.
Regenerating urban Wales was also a priority with the completion of a major scheme at East Bank, Port Talbot, and the start of the renewal of Porthcawl's Sandy Bay area including retail and non-retail elements.
Infrastructure projects included the £8 million Bridgend Northern Distributor Road opened in April 1998 to link Bridgend town centre and Junction 36 of the M4.