The Minister was speaking following a meeting of the cabinet committee on north Wales which included the leaders of the region’s six local authorities.
Ken Skates said:
“There is strong partnership working across north Wales and that relationship is now more important than ever as we face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, and the end of the EU transition period. Together at the cabinet committee meeting we discussed how we can jointly deliver sustainable recovery for the region.
“Without doubt the situation is grave with manufacturing particularly affected in the north east and the tourism industry more to the west. At Welsh Government we will continue to do all we can to support businesses at this very difficult time.
“We unanimously agreed to continue to work together and to take every opportunity to boost confidence and reaffirm our genuine commitment to the region. There is much already underway including progress on the North Wales Growth deal, which has the potential to transform the region, and investments in transport and our town centres.
Chair of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board and leader of Gwynedd Council Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn said:
“Leaders from across the region were pleased to meet with Welsh Government Ministers during the cabinet committee on north Wales.
“The meeting offered an opportunity to highlight a number of challenges facing the six counties of the north, including a real concern regarding unemployment which has been felt more keenly since the pandemic struck. It was reassuring that Ministers were eager to discuss potential projects that could help to provide new skills for workers and to support young people as they enter the work environment in what is undoubtedly a difficult period. I hope we see progress in this important area in the coming months.
“Council leaders also highlighted the importance of capital infrastructure to boost the north Wales economy in the short-term as we work together to rebuild our economy and we hope to see further commitment.
“Of course, Brexit is still very much on our agenda and the impact a no-deal exit from the European Union would have on exports for companies across the region was highlighted, as well as the concerning impacts on the rural economy and the agriculture sector which is such an important aspect of our economy.