As reported by Wales Online two an a half years after their launch the Welsh labour Government's economic enterprise zones are failing to have the desired effect of stimulating business and creating jobs.
A survey commissioned by the Welsh Government revealed less than a third of Cardiff firms knew they were in an enterprise zone. Of those across Wales who knew they were part of one, only
53% thought that being located within one of Wales' seven Enterprise Zone added value or brought any benefits to their business.
Only one in five said they were aware of the recently-launched Finance Wales preferential loans scheme and the Superfast Cymru broadband rollout. Whilst fewer than 50% were aware of business support schemes that are available for businesses in the zones.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Economic Development spokesperson and Assembly Member for South Wales Central Eluned Parrott said that the Cardiff figure would be "worrying at the best of times" but worse when the zones were "built around" multi-billion pound firms such as Lloyds Bank, Network Rail, Eversheds, British Gas and ING Direct who between them employ thousands of people.
She said: "These are not small shopkeepers and takeaways these are big serious players in the business world and less than one in three of them know that they are located in one of the government's flagship Enterprise Zones. These zones were originally announced over two and a half years ago, yet knowledge of people who need to know, who should know and critically who can benefit from this knowledge is laughable at best. Cardiff, in particular, should be a hive of construction 2.5 years after the original announcement yet barely anything has happened."
Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell said this is yet another example of Labour ineptitude letting down the people of Wales.
"The Welsh Government announced the setting up of five enterprise zones in 2011, and added two more in 2012. There has been little evidence that these are having any affect at all, and this survey certainly shows the lack of communication between the Welsh Government and businesses.
"Yet again, as they have proved with education and health, the Labour Government are clueless. They cannot keep trying to pass the buck to Westminster for everything, it is time they took responsibility for the economic development of Wales."