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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 August 2005, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
New assembly office site unveiled
Finance Minister Sue Essex and Ceredigion Council leader Dai Lloyd Evans at the site of the new assembly building
Sue Essex and Ceredigion Council's Dai Lloyd Evans review the plans
The site for a new Welsh assembly office in mid Wales has been unveiled by Finance Minister Sue Essex.

Around 500 people will be based at Parc-y-Llyn in Aberystwyth. Nearly 200 posts are being switched from Cardiff.

There is a new office in Merthyr Tydfil and a further one planned for Llandudno Junction as part of plans to spread civil servants' jobs throughout Wales.

Environment, planning and countryside will be among the departments based in Aberystwyth.

The Forestry Commission will also base staff at the building and Ceredigion Council will construct a new office at the site.

Ms Essex was in Ceredigion on Wednesday to make the announcement about the new development.

Cathays Park is terribly over-crowded and it made sense to base countryside issues in Aberystwyth
Sue Essex AM

She said: "We are taking the opportunity to bring smaller assembly offices in the area, at Aberaeron and Machynlleth, under the wing of one location.

"There was a query about those jobs moving, but there are not too many and Aberystwyth is not far from either of the towns."

Asked whether it was value-for-money to build a new office in mid Wales and relocate jobs from Cardiff, Ms Essex added: "Cathays Park is terribly overcrowded and it made sense to base countryside issues in Aberystwyth.

Parc-y-Llyn in Aberystwyth where the new building will be based
Parc-y-Llyn in Aberystwyth where the new building will be based

"After devolution, there has been a push to have more of an assembly presence throughout Wales so it's not so Cardiff-centric."

Ms Essex said the assembly base in north Wales at Llandudno Junction, would also include Welsh Development Agency and Education and Learning Wales staff.

She added that the assembly's community directorate had already moved to Merthyr Tydfil.

Ceredigion's Plaid Cymru AM Elin Jones said it was "a big boost" for Aberystwyth.

"I've had to lobby quite hard for this because the building could have easily gone to others area such as Llandrindod Wells or Newtown," she said.

Kirsty Williams
Kirsty Williams said she did not want jobs to be lost from other towns

The new offices will also have what the assembly government called a "first-stop shop" for the public to visit.

A total of 750 civil service jobs will move from Cardiff over the next three years.

It is hoped that the Llandudno Junction office will open in autumn 2007, with Aberystwyth following in 2008.

Some AMs have expressed concern about plans to move jobs from some smaller local offices to the new regional centres.

Kirsty Williams, Lib Dem AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, said: "I fully support the creation of jobs in Aberystwyth, but I want to ensure that the jobs currently based in Llandrindod Wells will not be lost as a result."


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