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University joins £4.4m scheme to help boost business growth in North Wales


Wrexham Glyndwr University aims to boost business growth and management skills in North Wales as part of a £4.4 million scheme.

The EU-backed programme was announced on Tuesday by Welsh Government Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford and will be delivered by the North Wales Business Academy, a collaboration between Wrexham Glyndwr University, Bangor, Grŵp Llandrillo Menai and Coleg Cambria.

The scheme aims to support business growth and competitiveness by delivering university-accredited management qualifications to more than 1,000 employees over the next three years.  

Chris Jones, head of North Wales Business School at the Wrexham university, said: “This project has been two years in the making. We all set out to build something that makes a tangible difference to the North Wales economy.

“All four partners recognise the paramount importance of qualifications. However we all agree that to create a positive legacy for the region, knowledge and skills must be utilised rather than summarised in a certificate on the wall. This project will deliver leadership and management training the right way.”

The North Wales Business Academy is aimed at companies with growth ambition in key sectors, including advanced manufacturing, tourism and outdoor activities, the food and drinks industry and energy sector.

Mr Jones added: “The ‘one size fits all’ approach to business education simply doesn’t work because all businesses have different needs.

“We are offering the unique opportunity for every business in North Wales to get the up-skilling their company needs to grow, not as part of a rigid programme of learning, half of which may be irrelevant to them.”

Supported by £2.8 million of EU funds, the scheme will enable employers to access subsidies of up to 70 per cent for training and staff development opportunities in areas including financial management, sales and marketing, business strategy, governance and operational skills and management.

Mark Drakeford said: “I’m very pleased to announce £2.8 million of EU funding for the North Wales Business Academy, which will provide career development opportunities for business employees and, in turn, drive business competitiveness in key growth sectors in the region. This investment goes to show how important EU funds are to Wales.”

Iwan Thomas, regional skills and employment coordinator for the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, said: “Having a collaborative approach amongst providers further demonstrates how working as part of a ‘Team North Wales’ approach, our collective vision for a confident, cohesive region with sustainable economic growth, capitalising on the success of high value economic sectors and its connection to the economies of the Northern Powerhouse and Ireland can move closer towards becoming a reality.”

For more information on the project visit or