The Welsh Government has provided nearly half a million pounds to support electronic powerhouse Sony, in Bridgend, through the pandemic as well as a £3m grant to help the company secure local jobs and invest in its longer term future in South Wales, Economy Minister Ken Skates has announced.
One of the largest employers in South Wales, Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) is the manufacturing and customer service centre for Sony in the UK, and houses 29 related tenant companies.
The company manufactures and produces cutting-edge camera equipment for the broadcast industry from its award-winning centre of excellence.
Sony UK TEC has manufactured cameras for Sony group since 1999 and has supplied and serviced cameras that have been used for global sporting events including The Wimbledon Championship and the FIFA World Cup 2014 & 2018.
The funding Sony has received from the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund will help protect hundreds of jobs, while the grant from the Economy Futures Fund will also help future proof manufacturing processes at the site.
The ERF, which is part of the Welsh Government’s £1.7bn plus support package for business, is providing significant financial support to micro, SME and large companies across Wales and complements the support provided by the UK Government. To date, more than 13,000 businesses have received financial support worth more than £280 million and the fund has helped to protect more than 100,000 jobs.
Steve Dalton, Managing Director at Sony UK TEC, said: “We are always incredibly grateful for the continuous support we receive from the Welsh Government. As a large employer based in South Wales, we have a responsibility to provide and protect jobs within our local community not only in times of crisis, such as the global pandemic which we are currently facing, but also in times of prosperity.
“The Welsh Government grant support which we recently received has helped us fulfil this responsibility and successfully safeguard the jobs of our existing staff. We also anticipate the grant will enable us to continue creating employment opportunities in the future as we further improve and expand our business.
“The funding is primarily to support the growth and sustainability of the Pencoed operation over the next 3 years, with Sony UK TEC looking to make some significant investment in its business operations. With the increase of electronic products and the growth of technological advancements in product design and manufacturing etc., Sony UK TEC will be making significant investment in its surface mount process and automated manufacturing processes to maintain its position as a global brand leader.
“The investment will help to support the growth of multiple business opportunities at Pencoed, including support for the growth in the Raspberry Pi business (with Pencoed making over 6m units per year at present) and the development of Sony UK TEC’s own prototyping business to support new product designs and help bring third party products to market.”
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales Ken Skates, said: “As we have done throughout this crisis, the Welsh Government is working tirelessly to support our economy through this pandemic, and helping to ensure good-quality, thriving businesses can continue to be good-quality, thriving businesses in our post-pandemic future.
“We know businesses want certainty so that they can plan and prepare, and that’s why just last week we doubled the third phase of our Economic Resilience Fund to £300m to support firms through the current firebreak and beyond.
“Our package of support goes above and beyond what is available elsewhere in the UK, and I am proud the Economic Resilience Fund is helping thousands of businesses deal with immediate issues critical to their survival and protected more than 100,000 jobs which might otherwise have been lost.
“Sony is a major employer to hundreds of people, and I am pleased we have been able to provide them with this crucial support which will protect highly-skilled jobs and ensure quality employment opportunities in the future too.
“We remain committed to doing all we can to drive our economy back to pre-pandemic levels of growth.”