By Daniel Hunter

Steel giant Tata has announced plans to invest £800m at its Welsh plants over the next five years.

The Indian firm’s cash injection, which will include £250m at its Port Talbot plant, pictured above, was a welcome development, said the CBI Wales director Emma Watkins.

“This is a clear signal of Tata’s commitment to Wales, and is great news for the thousands of workers in Tata sites across the country,” she said.

“As well as safeguarding existing employment, the investment will also mean improving production, product mix, quality and product range. This is an important demonstration of the need to support our existing anchor companies, and the many businesses within their supply chain, as we return the Welsh economy to growth and rebalance it in favour of the private sector.

“Wales has a strong industrial history: Tata’s investment will ensure it has a bright industrial future as well.”

Tata, which employs 7,500 people at its plants across Wales, said the investment would include work to rebuild a blast furnace at Port Talbot — but said it could not be more specific about which other plants would benefit.

“This is in itself a substantial vote of confidence in Welsh steelmaking. A blast furnace is normally relined every 10,15 or 20 years and a complete rebuild, which is an even bigger project than a reline, is an investment with a similarly long-term horizon," a spokesman for the firm said.

Carwyn Jones, the Wales first minister, said: “It’s good to know that Tata sees Wales as a good place to invest, that the steel industry in Wales has a secure future.”

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness