Defence is important for Welsh prosperity

Economy & Politics | Growth | Wales
Philip Dunne

Former Defence Minister Philip Dunne has today released a wide-ranging report which highlights the integral role of defence to British prosperity.

The report states that defence invests £945 million in Welsh industry and that the country benefits from MOD expenditure of £300 per person each year. Defence also supports over 6,000 industry jobs within Wales.

The review was commissioned by the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson after he launched the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) to strengthen the Armed Forces in the face of intensifying threats, alongside the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.

The independent review of defence’s contribution to national economic and social value by Philip Dunne looks right across the Armed Forces and industry to provide an in-depth picture to inform proposals for reform into the MDP.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Philip Dunne’s review shows how vital defence is, not only protecting us from global dangers and safeguarding our national prosperity, but also to our economy by creating thousands of specialist and highly-skilled jobs and creating billions in exports.

“He paints a clear picture of how defence and defence industry reaches every corner of the UK and is central to employment in so many cities and towns.

“He lays down some key challenges to consider as our Modernising Defence Programme continues to ensure defence is the best it can be in a post-Brexit Britain.”

The report also includes a number of recommendations for review, including: further research into the impact of significant procurements on national prosperity; building on the strong relationships with industry suppliers; and considering how the UK’s world-leading institutions could be given greater entrepreneurial freedoms.

Wales plays an important role in UK Defence providing over 3,000 regulars and reserves to the Armed Forces, supporting over 6,000 industry jobs and is renowned for its vast training areas which enable the British Army and RAF to perfect their skills to ensure they maintain their military edge over adversaries.

The country benefits from MOD expenditure of £300 per person each year and a huge investment in local industry and commerce of £945 million. The largest MOD industry group expenditure in the nation is with weapons and ammunition totalling £246 million. Key suppliers include Airbus, General Dynamics, GE Aviation, QinetiQ and Raytheon

Wales features some of the most important national defence infrastructure by creating future Army leaders at the Infantry Battle School in Brecon, securing the UK’s reputation as a leading global air power with its fast jet pilot training at RAF Valley and of course, the pride of having the second of the Royal Navy’s cutting-edge aircraft carriers named HMS Prince of Wales.

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