New research shows that Pembrokeshire Coast National Park makes a major contribution to the economy of Wales Some 4,650 jobs in Wales are supported by the environment of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and the Park contributes an impressive total of £81 million pounds annually to the economy of Wales. These are some of the key findings of an important new study 'Valuing the National Parks of Wales', which assesses the economic value of the three National Parks of Wales. It shows that Brecon Beacons National Park, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and Snowdonia National Park are a major economic asset for the whole of Wales. It also reveals that 12,000 jobs in Wales are supported by the environment of the National Parks of Wales, and the Parks contribute an impressive total of £177 million pounds annually to Wales' economy. The study was launched on Tuesday by Andrew Davies AM, the Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, at a meeting of the Welsh Association of National Parks Authorities in Cardiff. Andrew Davies said: "We welcome this research which confirms the economic importance of the National Parks as icons for Wales. The three Parks make a considerable contribution to the Welsh economy and it is vital that we ensure they continue to be managed both for their environmental quality and their economic value." This research has been commissioned by the Valuing our Environment Partnership and funded by the Countryside Council for Wales, the National Trust Wales and the three Welsh National Park Authorities. It will inform the National Assembly for Wales, Local Authorities and other decision makers in Wales about the fundamental importance of the National Parks. A breakdown of the headline figures reveals that there is major economic benefit for areas outside the Parks' boundaries. They are icons for tourism and offer a strong brand image for Welsh goods and services. They therefore support not only their local and regional economies, but also the economy of Wales as a whole. In a recent survey into the benefits of National Trails in Wales commissioned by the Countryside Council for Wales, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail was identified as having a significant impact on accommodation providers, with almost half of those contacted saying that the Trail was 'very important to the profitability' of their business. Earlier research showed that the Coast Path generated some £14m into the local economy (1997). While the main industries within the Parks are identified as tourism and agriculture, further economic activity is generated through their suppliers and contractors, many of whom are located outside the Parks. Iwan Hughes, National Trust Director for Wales, said: "Our National Parks continue to need strong protection in order to ensure that they remain a major asset for Wales. This research will provide the evidence to increase recognition of their value as a positive economic driver." The Valuing our Environment Partnership is led by the National Trust Wales with core partners, the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales, Heritage Lottery Fund Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government - DEIN. It works together to reveal hard economic evidence that the environment is fundamental to prosperity in Wales.
Pembs. National Park makes major contribution to economy of Wales
Thursday 19th October 2006 10:00 pm