Western Gateway announces partner for major convention

The Western Gateway Partnership has announced Associated British Ports  as the first major sponsor for a major convention.

ABP, the UK’s leading port operator, owns and operates 21 ports across the UK which together manage around 25 percent of the UK’s total sea-borne trade.

ABP will be sponsoring the Net Zero zone of the Convention.  The event will also focus on supporting the growing cyber and technology sector, improving connections across the area, boosting investment into the area and protecting our areas of natural beauty.

The 2024 Convention for the Western Gateway will bring together local leaders, businesses, academics, and governments from across South Wales and Western England to discuss how the area can work together to develop the economy of the future for the UK.

The event will take place at the International Convention Centre Wales in Newport on the 17th October 2024 and will also be a launch pad for a new “Plan for Sustainable Growth” for the area.

With national politicians from the UK and Wales due to speak, this will be a major economic event in the calendar.

Ralph Windeatt, group head of business development at ABP said: “We are delighted to partner with the Western Gateway for this high-profile event in Newport. The Convention provides a great platform for us to exhibit the enormous role ABP is playing, in delivering the future economy and supporting the UK’s energy transition.

“Our ports will play a key role in developing low-carbon infrastructure such as hydrogen production, sustainable aviation fuel, carbon capture and storage, which will provide new opportunities for local communities. In addition, we are investing in new manufacturing facilities and major port infrastructure upgrades to support the development of floating offshore wind (FLOW) in the Celtic Sea.”

ABP and partners within the South Wales Industrial Cluster (SWIC) are developing Clean Growth Hubs around our ports to drive industrial decarbonisation in the region and provide new opportunities for investment, growth and jobs in the low-carbon economy. These hubs will seek to cluster industry around low-carbon infrastructure to drive scales of economy.

ABP has ambitious plans to transform the Port of Port Talbot into a major hub for Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW) and green energy development. In addition, they are one of the four consortium partners of the successful Celtic Freeport, which will be key in supporting the development of FLOW, as well as other forms of renewable energy.  With the potential to produce over 20GW of clean energy for the UK, the Celtic Sea area is likely to be one of the world’s most competitive clean energy markets.

Sarah Williams-Gardener, chair of the Western Gateway, said: “ABP is a significant pillar of the Western Gateway economy, we are delighted they have chosen to sponsor our convention in October, showcasing their activities across the area.

“South Wales and Western England hold immense potential to contribute to the UK’s prosperity. This event will serve as a launchpad demonstrating the collaboration across businesses, Governments and local leaders ensuring our Pan Regional area leads the way in creating much needed economic growth for the UK.”

The Western Gateway is the pan-regional partnership for South Wales and Western England.  Stretching from St Davids in Pembrokeshire to Swindon, the partnership brings together business, academia, and local leaders to work together to create new opportunities for local communities.