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Location of Industry South Wales
During the 19th Century Southern Wales became a vitally important industrial area, for both iron and steel production.
The steep valleys, with their fast flowing rivers, provided power and transport. The hills were rich with raw materials,
such as coal, iron ore and limestone, and the area was close to the ports of Cardiff and Swansea.
Neath Primary Industry, Open Cast Mining
Neath Valley, South Wales (Near the village Glyn Neath adjacent to the A465)
Opencast mine opened in 1997
Site covers 330 hectares
Celtic Energy decided on this site as 5 coal seams are near the surface and the coal is high quality anthracite. Over
100 workers are employed. They were readily available as many of them were former miners who lost their jobs
when British Coal closed the deep mines in the 1970's and 1980's. There are large markets for the coal in places such
as Port Talbot Steelworks, less than 20 kms away.
Today, the site is a huge open cast pit, but was formally a hilly wetland area, with some coniferous forest. The area
has a relatively low population and is rather remote.
There are some disadvantages with this site:
some conservation area was lost and currently all the coal has to be transported out of the area by road.
Some locals protested about the visual impact, noise pollution and dust from blasting and lorry movements, also
The company has a well-developed policy for reducing environmental impact and will landscape the site after the
mine has closed. It has created a nature reserve to compensate for the loss of habitat and an SSSI (Site of Special
Port Talbot Secondary Industry, Steel Works
Opened in 1954.
Advantages to Port Talbot:
Large area of flat land
Near to the sea for importing and exporting
Nearby is a large workforce
It has created employment opportunities in the area, and has encouraged further investment and growth
Rationalisation small steel works closed down
Large modern, integrated plants built
Deep water port, easy access
M4 Motorway links South Wales with the West Midlands car industry
Newport Tertiary Industry, UK Patent Office
Western side of Newport, South Wales (adjacent to M4)
Moved to current location as part of the Governments desire to relocate public sector jobs away from London and
into areas of higher unemployment. Brownfield site, Office looks over Tredegar Park.
Purpose built accommodation save £3.1million per year.
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Increasing technology means they did not need to locate in/near the capital city.
Few disadvantages to this site, the Office is relatively `footloose' (doesn't rely on raw materials, labour or energy).
Some reports claim there was a shortage of higher skills and management personnel when the relocation first
happened as some managers were reluctant to leave.
Swansea Quaternary Industry, Amazon Warehouse
Swansea, South Wales
Size of 10 football pitches.
Opened in 2008.
Employs nearly 3000 people.…read more