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New jobs take off at ex-airfield.

Byline: ERYL CRUMP Business Correspondent

BUSINESS Minister Edwina Hart heard first hand how the new owners of a North Wales airfield are already creating opportunities for the region's economy.

To date eight businesses have moved on site at Llanbedr Airfield near Harlech employing more than 30 people between them and Llanbedr Airfield Estates say they are in talks with other potential customers.

During her visit last week Mrs Hart met Lee Paul, David Young and Charlie Mondahl from Llanbedr Estates who discussed their plans for the regeneration of aviation and business related activities.

Llanbedr Estates has a long lease on the site which it wants to turn into a dismantling yard for airliners as large as Boeing 747s which are incapable of being returned to active use as well as aircraft maintenance.

The planes would be flown into 1the site for dismantling and 60 jobs would be created.

The company also wants to carry out research and development for the testing, evaluation and development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Speaking after the visit the Minister said: "Our overriding aim when selling the airfield was that it became an asset that could help create local jobs, support the community and boost the local economy.

"I am pleased to see that a diverse range of local businesses are already benefiting and now based at the airfield.

"It was also very encouraging to hear of the company's longer term plans which are being taken forward by an extremely experienced and enthusiastic team at Llanbedr Airfield Estates."

Charlie Mondahl, one of the partners, said:" The visit provided us with a great opportunity to talk about our plans.

"We believe Llanbedr Airfield has tremendous potential and want to work with the local community to make the most of these opportunities.

"We are keen to bring new business to the area and actively promoting the site - we are in discussions with a few companies interested in the site and the overall proposition. In the meantime we are pleased that local businesses are working from the airfield."

Llanbedr Airfield first opened in 1941 and latterly was home to unmanned Jindivij target drones in the Cardigan Bay ranges.

It closed in 2004 and has a range of ex-MOD buildings including two 30,000 sq ft hangers.

CAPTION(S):

Economy Minister Edwina Hart with (left to right) Lee Paul, Charles Mondahl and David Young of Llanbedr Airfield estates LLP, and AM Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Mar 27, 2013
Words:410
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