VALE MP Alun Cairns has announced that a major capital investor has expressed an interest in investing in a key Barry site.

Mr Cairns said he recently spoke to the interested party and he could help the Vale council – which is responsible for Barry regeneration – make contact with large investors.

The Vale council said it was surprised Mr Cairns was questioning its enthusiasm towards regeneration and economic growth.

Mr Cairns said: “I am hugely excited about the prospects for Barry and the surrounding area.

“There is much activity focussing on regeneration.

"All this points to the fact that Barry is the place to be – and to invest.

“Over recent weeks I have been in touch with a major capital investor who wants to support the Vale market and structure a key site in Barry.

“Naturally, the decision falls to the Vale council, but I can play a part in putting them in touch with large investors that are making a difference elsewhere.”

Mr Cairns said before the election he arranged for the Vale council to present local projects to international investors at No 10 and at the Old Bailey in London, supported by the City of London’s Lord Mayor.

“The Vale officers did an excellent job and we are well placed to capitalise on the interest generated,” he said. “There is no doubt that the presence of Aston Martin sparks a significant interest and smile from potential investors.

"I am also supporting them through their restructure.

“I am also in discussions with a ground-breaking technology company, to attract their investment locally.

“They are a high-end business that has very specific needs.

“Although it is only 20 jobs in the first stage, there is the prospect for many more.

“Our great quality of life and local skills are key influencers.”

Mr Cairns said he was talking to Barry landowners who were keen to promote their sites to some of these investors.

“They need support from planners,” Mr Cairns said. “One exciting opportunity was missed recently because of different views on planning opportunity.

“I will continue to encourage a positive dialogue.

“I continue to support James Morse and Simon Baston’s exciting plans on The Waterfront and am in touch with ABP to press them on the case for a marina.

“They were initially reluctant, in view of the history of the proposal but a joint effort with the Vale council cabinet member at the time led to the recent press interest.

“They are lobbying hard on free port policy and I am keen to use this leverage to seek to gain their support to develop a marina in Barry.

“The government has just launched its consultation on this.”

Mr Cairns added: “There is much going on in Barry and across the Vale.

“I am excited about the opportunities.

“Not all will lead to real projects but the more focus and positive we are, the better our chances of attracting the investments.

“I am frustrated by the council leaders and cabinet members lack of enthusiasm.

“I regularly receive contact from leaders of other authorities around South Wales, seeking opportunities to meet potential investors and I am determined that the Vale is at the forefront.

“As an optimist, I will still plough on!”

Vale council, cabinet member for education and regeneration, Cllr Lis Burnett said: “The Vale of Glamorgan Council is both committed and enthusiastic about the ongoing and future regeneration of Barry and the wider Vale of Glamorgan.

“The multi-million pound Waterfront development is progressing well, while the award-winning Pumphouse development and Innovation Quarter are all delivering new housing and business growth.

As well as these exciting projects, the new Goods Shed scheme, the development of a new college on the Waterfront and a multi-restaurant proposal at Nell’s Point suggest a prosperous and vibrant future for Barry.”

She said that important projects such as the Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone were putting the Vale on the map nationally and internationally and the council continues to work closely with partners such as the City Region and Welsh Government to ensure important sites like the airport and Nell’s Point are promoted as opportunities for future development and jobs growth.

She said: “We are surprised that that our local MP is questioning the council’s enthusiasm towards regeneration and economic growth.

“He should be fully aware of all the exciting projects referenced as he’s had his picture taken in front of most of them.

“Mr Cairns has not specifically identified any proposals which he says have been missed because of differing views on planning opportunities.

“It is important to note that while regeneration and economic development is at the heart of the council’s ambitions, such opportunities cannot come at any cost as far as the future of the Vale of Glamorgan is concerned and we will continue to say no to substandard schemes.”