Bangor University will benefit from £2.8 million of EU funding for a new science and innovation hub to boost Wales’ shellfish industry, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford announced today.
The EU funding will support scientific research and technology in establishing the university’s Shellfish Centre to help grow the industry in Wales.
It will support improvements to coastal water quality; the adoption of new technology and production methods and expansion into new markets – all priorities for Wales’ shellfish industry.
Based at the Marine Centre Wales, in Menai Bridge, the Shellfish Centre will build on Bangor University’s excellence in coastal and marine sciences.
Over the next 3 years, around 20 businesses in Wales are expected to take part in scientific research programmes to support the growth of the shellfish industry in Wales.
The Finance Secretary said: “EU-funded research is playing a vital role in maximising the expertise within our universities so Welsh businesses are at the forefront of science and technology.
“This investment will drive business competitiveness leading to the development of a strong and sustainable shellfish industry in Wales.”
Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths said: “This is a valuable industry which already provides significant economic benefits to Wales and has the potential to grow further with support from the scientific research and technological expertise of our universities.”
Professor Lewis Le Vay, from Bangor University, added: “We have a long and successful track record of collaborative research with Welsh shellfish producers and are very pleased this new and exciting initiative provides an opportunity for us to build on these very productive relationships.
“Our long-term aim is for the legacy of the Shellfish Centre to be a sustainable and growing shellfish production and processing sector in Wales. Supported by a science and innovation partnership, this initiative will help place Welsh shellfish producers in a leading position in the UK and internationally.”
James Wilson, of Bangor Mussel Producers, said: “Our ability to withstand the impact of Brexit will, in part, depend on having the highest-quality scientific understanding of resources and the marine environment. This investment in the shellfish centre should very much help deliver that.”