How is Welsh Government supporting Anchor Companies in Wales?

  • Bronwen Hughes

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    GVA per head in Wales during 2014 was 71.4 per cent of the UK average, the lowest amongst the devolved countries and English regions (source: ONS).

    This ranking for Wales has not changed since 1998 when it fell below Northern Ireland. In 1989 GVA was 85.4 per cent of the UK average which means that Wales is relatively worse off than it was 20 years ago (source: ONS). Wales has seen much economic change over the last two decades and despite government intervention, she continues to lag behind the rest of the UK.

    Whilst regional economic policy in Wales has historically been more interventionist than elsewhere in the UK, many key decisions were made in Whitehall. Since devolution in 1997, the executive arm of the National Assembly for Wales, the Welsh Government has gained powers in economic development. Cooke (2003) however, suggests that a weak devolution settlement has prevented Welsh Government from developing innovative economic policies and that a more powerful government is required.

    Regional economic policy is important to Wales and the Welsh Government has invested considerable resource and money to it. This study explores government intervention within the Welsh economy, identifying activities in the attraction of foreign direct investment, embeddedness, business support and the provision of grant and subsidies. It goes on to examine how is Welsh Government supporting Anchor Companies in Wales by asking four questions of them; namely, how satisfied are they, are the right business support structures in place, can the offer be improved and whether there are sectoral differences in the aforementioned.

    The study draws on primary sources, which includes interviews with Anchor Companies and SMEs. This is the first study that outlines and analyses the specific Welsh Government Anchor Company policy. Academic study of regional economic theory and policy has also grown in scope but there is no literature on the specific Welsh Government Anchor Company policy.
    Date of Award1 Nov 2017
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDavid Pickernell (Supervisor) & Martin Rhisiart (Supervisor)


    • Welsh economy
    • Clustering Theory
    • Place Based Approach
    • FDI
    • SMEs

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