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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September, 2003, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Chocs away for airport park
Aberporth site
There is disagreement about how many jobs will be created
A technology park that could create 230 jobs has been approved.

Parc Aberporth near Cardigan, mid Wales, will provide a strategic location for hi-tech businesses on a site adjoining the West Wales Airport and next to the Ministry of Defence's Aberporth range.

But opponents claim the park could become a white elephant in the long run.

Split into three phases on the site of the former Ministry of Defence airfield, the first development will involve building three units capable of sustaining more than 130 jobs.

I don't believe the huge amount of jobs that has been predicted will come about
Robin Logan-Reid, protestor

The Welsh Development Agency is targeting aerospace, defence, bioscience, software development, media and engineering related sectors to provide work opportunities at the park.

"This is a major strategic development which will bring much needed investment and highly-skilled jobs to the area," said Welsh Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies.


"The site is in an excellent location to attract high calibre businesses from a range of sectors such as aerospace and engineering which are of prime importance to the Welsh economy."

A four-plane fleet is already up and running at Aberporth
But Aberporth resident Robin Logan-Reid, who is a member of a local group opposing the development is sceptical about the succes of the project.

"We believe the whole scheme is a bit of a white elephant," said Mr Logan-Reid.

"The third phase of the development which includes the airport is supposed to provide a massive 45,000 square metres of floor space and provide about 4,000 new jobs," he added.

"Where are all thee new employees going to come from and where will they all live?

"I don't believe the huge amount of jobs that has been predicted will come about."

More than 1.6m of European Objective 1 funding has been approved, along with 2.7m from the Welsh assembly.

The WDA has liased with Ceredigion Council, the training and education council Elwa, and the West Wales Airport.

Plans for the second phase of the park, which will include five hi-tech units capable of sustaining a further 90 jobs, have been given outline planning approval.

The WDA claims that additional private sector investment at the site will lead to further employment opportunities.

The first phase will be completed by next summer.

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