Prime Minister makes appeal to Aston Martin to bring manufacturing to Wales

Aston Martin

Mr Cameron said that a large MoD hangar could be made available to the company at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan in what he described as a “great offer”.

The firm is considering sites in St Athan and another in Coventry with every area vieing for the chance of the base as the assembly plant for Aston Martin could create hundreds of jobs.

The Welsh government has been in talks with Aston Martin for many months. However a spokesperson for the motor manufacturer said: “No decision has been taken on a location of a new manufacturing plant; we are considering a wide variety of domestic and international options.”

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said it was “brilliant” that Mr Cameron had made a direct pitch to Aston Martin to “bring the James Bond brand to Wales”.

He said it was an excellent potential development and the Welsh government had been working hard, alongside the UK government.

Mr Crabb said bringing the jobs to St Athan would be a “tremendous achievement”.

The plea from Cameron came hours after he announced a deal which would create 250 highly-skilled jobs servicing armoured vehicles in Merthyr Tydfil. Speaking about the deal the Prime Minister said he was “delighted” the new plant would be created in Wales.

Commentators are suggesting that David Cameron is playing a dangerous game in trying to bounce Aston Martin into a major investment at the Ministry of Defence base at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan as the final decision by the company is a matter of months away. It is hugely sensitive and behind the scenes the Welsh government is nervous about it being made public in this way.

If the firm decides to start production in Coventry, which is said to be the other main UK rival to St Athan, or abroad, then inevitably Mr Cameron will face criticism.

But you could say that if someone is going to try to publicly bounce a world-famous car firm into making a decision then it might as well be the prime minister.

If the investment goes ahead, it would be a spectacular chapter for St Athan, which has largely proved to be a graveyard for ambitious schemes in the past such as a defence military training academy.