Welsh Government has since overhauled its approach to grants, but still some room for improvement, says Auditor General
The Welsh Government followed the procedures it had in place in at the time for approving and managing grant funding of the Penmon Fish farm in Anglesey. But, these procedures were unsuited to a project of this scale, complexity and risk, involving £5.2 million of public funding. An Auditor General for Wales report, published today, has found that although the project achieved its main objectives, problems arose when the fish farm began operating which caused pollution and nuisance.
The Penmon Fish Farm project cost £11.9 million. The project offered potential economic and environmental benefits - an operating plant and 30 jobs. In this regard, it met its objectives. But, it encountered problems that resulted in delays and increased costs. It was originally due to be completed in 2003, but difficulties, partly because of problems with the technology involved, meant that it did not become operational until 2009, producing seabass.