Aston Martin secures land for new factory in South Wales
James Bond car maker Aston Martin has moved a step closer to opening a new factory in South Wales as the firm secured the land it will be built upon.
The luxury marque announced earlier this year it will build its new DBX model at a plant in St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan from 2020 following a worldwide search for a new manufacturing facility.
The development, as part of a £200 million investment, will be Aston Martin's second factory and will create an estimated 750 jobs at the plant and 1,000 jobs in the wider supply chain and local businesses.
The firm is famous for the sporty models that have long been associated with 007, and Daniel Craig drove an Aston DB10 in the latest Bond movie Spectre.
Aston Martin completed the purchase of the St Athan site, chosen from 20 worldwide, and will look to begin production of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) at the Welsh plant in 2020, the Welsh Government said.
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said: "We are delighted that Aston Martin has chosen to locate its new manufacturing facility here in Wales and that the land sale is now complete.
"Aston Martin's move here is fantastic news for the Vale of Glamorgan and surrounding areas, and will provide a real boost to the local economy, resulting in thousands of high quality jobs both within Aston Martin and the wider supply chain.
"The move really is a coup for Wales and a huge vote of confidence in the support offered to businesses by the Welsh Government."
Aston Martin's chief executive Andy Palmer said: "The exchanging of this contract, giving us first access to the St Athan facility, is a milestone in our 103-year history. Work now starts in earnest to turn our plans into reality.
"Since taking the decision to build our first SUV in Wales we have been impressed with the commitment and approach from both the MoD and the Welsh Government in making this project work.
"We continue to work with the Welsh Government in areas like recruitment to ensure we are able to meet our project timescales."
Work by local Welsh firm TRJ Contracting has begun on the St Athan site to create the reception areas, offices and employee restaurant.
The second phase of the building will start in April next year when Aston Martin will gain access to the three Ministry of Defence "super hangars" that will house the new manufacturing facility.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said: " Aston Martin choosing Wales sends a clear message to leading global companies around the world that Wales is open for business.
"We have created the ideal conditions for economic growth, which helped attract this unique and innovative car manufacturer to South Wales.
"Today's announcement reflects the excellent infrastructure, a world-class talent pool and businesses that have the confidence to expand in Wales."