Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC) is a local authority in South West Wales with economic development and regeneration as part of its operational function. Pembrokeshire County Council has a strategic objective to develop jobs of higher worth in the economy and is strategically focused on the economy of Pembrokeshire to alleviate poverty. A significant focus of the effort in achieving this objective is through the Bridge Innovation Centre which is the hub of the fledgling Pembrokeshire Science and Technology Park. BUCANIER will be integral to the operational output of the Bridge Innovation Centre, which is part of the wider strategic Swansea Bay City Region Initiative. The Bridge Innovation Centre provides new start businesses with incubation facilities. It is a place where businesses can establish themselves, build their networks and grow.
Pembrokeshire is a predominantly rural county, but the Haven Waterway (part of the Haven Enterprise Zone) is a port of strategic importance. Some 20% of the UK’s energy is imported, processed and distributed in the form of refined oil products, natural gas from re-gasified LNG, or electricity from the 2000MW combined cycle gas turbine power station. There is a large supply chain in Pembrokeshire to these traditional energy providers that keep the UK powered. Along with other strategic organisations such as the Port of Milford Haven and Marine Energy Pembrokeshire, we are keen to see our businesses, particularly those in the supply chain, diversify into renewable energy; there is a desire to see Pembrokeshire Develop as a renewable energy cluster.
BUCANIER will be a serious enabler in coaxing our businesses to consider the innovation process into diversifying into this market. The formation of the Haven Enterprise Zone supports this aspiration and the South Pembrokeshire Wave Energy Demonstration Zone Operation aiming to establish the Wave Energy Zone will be a key enabler that will act as a catalyst to the establishment of a centre for marine energy production. Marine Energy Pembrokeshire has a significant network and will be supporting the BUCANIER operation as a major stakeholder within the operation.
As a rural county, Pembrokeshire relies heavily on food production from farming through to food processing. BUCANIER will be a massive enabler for this sector within the County. Moreover, the planned food park at Withybush presents opportunity for enhancing the established cluster with the Cross Hand Food Park in Carmarthen, this is but part of the reason in choosing Carmarthenshire County Council as co-beneficiaries. The Cross Hands Food Park already has Irish Companies operating from there which gives both regions an opportunity to build and enhance the established clustering and networks that are in place.
David Thomas is the lead partner senior officer for BUCANIER. A principle officer in Pembrokeshire County Council, David is the manager of the Bridge Innovation Centre and Science and Technology Park. David’s work involves building wider networks with the park, and focussing on innovation to bring value to Pembrokeshire’s economy.
Peter Lord has a BA Hons and Certificate in Management and was the manager for the Welsh delivery side of the EU Interreg funded, INSPIRE project. He has 13 years working in business support through the local authority, working on European funded projects, including advice, grants and training for SME’s.