Alyn & Deeside Constituency
Alyn and Deeside is in the North-East of Wales and borders the Welsh constituencies of Delyn and Wrexham and across from it lies the English city of Chester. The position of the constituency ensures that it has strong links to the North-West particularly Merseyside and these ties will be strengthened by the Mersey-Dee Alliance. Like much of the North-East of Wales, Alyn and Deeside is heavily dependent on manufacturing for employment.
In 1980 the constituency was rocked when 6,500 workers were made redundant at Shotton Steelworks. At the time it was the single biggest redundancy in Western Europe. Since then Alyn and Deeside has grown in strength as policy makers strived for a strong and stable economy. One of the major components in this reconstruction has been the creation of Deeside Industrial Park, in which Mark’s predecessor Lord Barry Jones played a pivotal role.
One of the biggest employers in Alyn and Deeside now is Airbus, which has a plant in Broughton. The plant specialises in the manufacturing of wings and the majestic Beluga is often seen above Alyn and Deeside transporting these wings once they are completed. The plant employs 7,000 people and last year signed a $15 billion contract for their new fuel efficient A320neo.
Alyn and Deeside is also home of Deeside College, which has students from across North East Wales and Cheshire. The college provides a vast array of courses and apprenticeships including one with Airbus.
The constituency is not all about industry and there is a rich cultural aspect that flows through Alyn and Deeside. The village of Hope was listed in the Domesday Book and has a church dating back to the 12th Century. In its neighbouring village, Caergwrle, the ruins of a castle built by Dafydd ap Gruffydd stand above, dating from around 1277. Famously William Gladstone who retired in the village of Hawarden is reported to have said, ‘Long may Hawarden flourish and all that belongs to it.’ sentiments many people still share today.
There is also a strong sporting heritage in Alyn and Deeside, with Deeside boasting its own ice rink that is home to Welsh Curling Association. Deeside College is also home of the GAP Connah’s Quay Tigers and notable footballers from the constituency include, Michael Owen and the late Gary Speed. Alyn and Deeside is also proud to be home of Beverley Jones who won Bronze in Discus in the London Paralympics and Amy Brierly who competed in sitting volleyball.