A new initiative is putting business investment at the heart of Denbighshire’s strategy for economic growth.
The “Invest in Denbighshire” project is designed to encourage new investors to North Wales and to support home grown businesses to stay in the county.
With 350 businesses starting up every year in Denbighshire, and with business survival rates higher than the Welsh and UK average, Denbighshire is a great place for new businesses to launch and grow. Turnover of businesses and business sites in Denbighshire increased by £410.9m to £2506.7m in 2016 – a trend which bodes well for businesses in the county.
Cllr Hugh Evans OBE, Leader of Denbighshire County Council, said of the initiative: “The fact Denbighshire is outperforming the Welsh and UK averages for business survival rates and that business turnover is increasing shows what a great offer we have here. Invest in Denbighshire showcases what Denbighshire can offer and as a Council we are here to help if you’re looking to grow or relocate in the county.
“Denbighshire has great transport links with the city centres and airports of Liverpool and Manchester just an hour away. We have 77 acres of development land available as well as already established business parks and centres. The county is home to 11.5km of scenic seafront and one of the largest areas of outstanding natural beauty in the UK.
“We have a diverse mix of urban and rural areas with thriving leisure, tourism, retail, agriculture, industry and business sectors. Many of our businesses choose Denbighshire because of our quality of life and that all important work-life balance.
“Denbighshire is very much open for business and our dedicated officers provide you with a dedicated contact and a bespoke support service to help you if you’re looking to grow or relocate in the area.”
Last year The Real Petfood Company, which specialises in manufacturing premium pet food snacks and treats under the Wagg and Harringtons brands, chose Denbighshire for a £6 million investment. The firm has acquired, re-furbished and re-equipped an 8-acre 130,000sq foot former site in Bodelwyddan with Denbighshire County Council playing a prominent role in the proceedings, advising on technical issues and co-ordinating communication between interested stakeholders early on in the deliberations.
Graham Wheeler, managing director of The Real Petfood Company, said: “When we found this site it was important for us to meet with the Council and understand how they could help and support us making it a viable option.
“It was very important for us to be confident the Council was going to support us in setting up the site. It was a big investment for us. Having the confidence that the Council was going to work with us to resolve any issues was important.”
Dragon Drilling, a sustainable resource utilisation company, worked closely with Denbighshire County Council when planning the firm’s relocation. Geoff Ellison, chairman of Dragon Drilling, said: “The support we have received from the Council has been pragmatic and helpful. Working closely with the Council has helped us expand our business and offered us the confidence to know that we are doing everything in the correct manner. Having such a good relationship with Denbighshire is good for business.
“Our expansion has allowed us to create more skilled jobs in the county, continuing a strong trend of job creation. It will also allow us to embark on continued planned growth. We can continue to invest in plant and equipment, employ more staff and maintain our core strategy of sustainable utilisation of resources.”
Denbighshire is home to St Asaph Business Park, a modern and regionally significant site, home to cutting-edge science, engineering, energy, creative and service sectors. Qioptiq, based on the Park is a world-leading producer of opto-electronics, including cutting edge technology such as visual displays for pilots’ helmets and counts BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Airbus among its customers. Qioptiq also has a space division and every satellite launched in the Western world contains glass made by the company in Denbighshire.
Peter White, Managing Director of Qioptiq, said: “Sometimes you can take for granted the sense of community, there is a strong community here. When international customers come over, they always comment on the passion and dedication that the workforce shows and it’s important to remember that. Denbighshire is a fantastic area to work. We do a lot of international travel and flights. Manchester and Liverpool airports are great international hubs.
“The work-life balance is important, it certainly is to me. We are an hour away from Snowdonia, an hour from the beaches of Anglesey. Chester, Manchester and Liverpool are not far away. The work-life balance is fantastic here.
“We have been successful here in Denbighshire, the business is growing. If you invest in your business and you invest in your people, and have a clear and sound business plan, then St Asaph is a great place to base your business.”