By Sarah Atherton

MP for Wrexham

Last Wednesday, the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt MP, delivered a very positive Autumn Statement for Wrexham. He set out the UK Government’s plans to grow the economy, with over 110 measures announced to drive economic growth over the next decade.

The main announcement that the Chancellor made was that Wrexham is now an Investment Zone. Now, Wrexham will gain up to £80 million worth of investment, fuelled by tax incentives and grant funding. As a result of this, our city will also benefit from more better-paid and highly-skilled jobs for local people. The day after the Autumn Statement, I was delighted to welcome the Chancellor to Airbus in North-East Wales. Airbus, which is commonly known for its commercial aircraft wings and supports hundreds of jobs in Wrexham, was one of the key advocates for Wrexham and Flintshire’s joint Investment Zone bid and is a shining example of what our region has to offer.

For months, I have worked tirelessly to convince the UK Government of the merits of our bid. I have attended meetings both in the constituency with local businesses and organisations, in addition to politicians, and in Parliament, where I have extensively lobbied the Chancellor, the Levelling Up Secretary and the Welsh Secretary for their support.

Wrexham has huge potential – we have one of the largest industrial estates in Europe, employing over 10,000 people, and a rich tapestry of businesses across numerous sectors. While the Welsh Government dragged its feet and were initially non-committal in offering its support for Wrexham and Flintshire’s bid, we can now look forward, with great optimism, to seizing the benefits that this announcement will inevitably bring.

Since my election, Wrexham has received over £56 million worth of funding directly from the UK Government, including the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (£22 million), the Towns Fund (£20 million) and the Levelling Up Fund (£13.3 million). For too long, this corner of our country has been left behind under the Welsh Labour Government, but because of the UK Conservative Government’s commitment to Wrexham, our city is rapidly becoming the innovation and investment capital of North Wales, and a jewel in the crown of our United Kingdom.

Separately, the Chancellor announced that the UK Government will cut the main rate of National Insurance contributions from 12% to 10% from 6th January 2024, meaning a £450 tax cut for the average worker. The national living wage will be increased by 9.8%, taking it to £11.44 an hour, benefitting 2.7 million of the lowest paid workers. To clarify, this rate will be extended to everyone over the age of 21.

As a former brewer and real ale lover, I have been pushing the Government to do everything that it can to support our pubs which have faced significant pressures over the past few years. I am very pleased that the UK Government has, once again, frozen alcohol duty to keep the cost of a pint down and our community pubs thriving. Lastly, I also welcomed the decision to maintain the pension triple lock, coupled with an increase to the State Pension worth £17.35 per week.

Meanwhile, Small Business Saturday (02 December) is rapidly approaching, and I would like residents to help me shine a light on their favourite Wrexham small business. Whether its your go-to coffee spot, favourite independent clothes shop, or the hidden gem with the best cakes – I want to know your number one choice!

To nominate your top pick for the best small business in Wrexham, please fill out the ‘Small Business Saturday Survey’ on my website, The deadline is 23:59 on Thursday 30th November 2023. The winning business, which will be announced on Friday 1st December, will receive a prize, plus all nominees will get a social media spotlight to showcase their incredible work and contribution to our local community. I hope you can join me in spreading the appreciation and support for our local small business heroes. Best of luck everyone, I look forward to sifting through the nominations!

As always, if you are a resident in the current Wrexham constituency boundary and need my assistance with any local or national issues, please contact me by emailing: