Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone chairman Nick Bourne gives his monthly update.

My main priority over the last month has been leading the Murco Task Force to secure the future of refinery operations in Milford Haven.

I am very grateful for the members of the group coming together so quickly and we have been working around the clock since the news was announced to explore all options available.

The work is ongoing and we are acutely aware of the short timescale involved and we hope to report on progress soon.

It looks set to be a busy summer for the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone and the whole of Pembrokeshire.

While the Enterprise Zone’s focus is on developing the vital energy sector, we are also very aware that Milford Haven is a gateway to another industry which is very important to Pembrokeshire and Wales as a whole – tourism.

Milford Haven will welcome some 5,000 cruise passengers this summer for the 2014 cruise season and they will get a chance to experience Pembrokeshire’s natural beauty and some of the many attractions available here.

These along with the many other visitors to Pembrokeshire each year provide a massive boost to the local economy.

That is why the Welsh Government, Cruise Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park have been working closely with the Port of Milford Haven to improve the visitor experience and attract even more ships and passengers.

In 2013, Milford Haven received the highest customer satisfaction rating in the UK from the Princess cruise line, which has helped ensure the Ocean Princess will come here three times this summer.

The new £68million road between St Clears and Red Roses was officially opened last month and is part of the trans-European road network providing connections with Ireland via Pembroke Dock.

First and foremost it will provide more efficient communication for the local population and it will be a major boost with developing and growing the economic competitiveness of the area.

And finally, I would like to remind businesses in the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone that they have until 3 June to apply for support in the latest round of the Welsh Government’s Enterprise Zone Business Rates Scheme.

Eligible businesses can apply for up to £55,000 per annum in support. More than 60 businesses have been approved for support totalling nearly £4.5m since the scheme was launched and we have had a good response from companies in the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone so far.

Further information and details of how to apply are available on the Business Wales website www.enterprisezones.wales.gov.uk/brs.