The most recent estimate shows that MOD investment supports more than 200,000 jobs in industries across the UK, and continued investment in defence along with the changes we continue to make as part of our defence and security industrial strategy are contributing to further economic growth and prosperity across the Union.
I thank the Minister for his answer. As a Member from north-east Wales, I am interested in how we promote defence spending in all regions of the United Kingdom, meaning that there is some balance, with defence jobs and investment not concentrated in the same part of England every time. What can the Minister do to assure my constituents in Delyn that they will have as much opportunity as those in places such as the south-west of England?
My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Obviously, we strongly want to see defence expenditure benefiting every part of the Union. I can confirm expenditure with industry in Wales amounting to about £744 million. Just to reassure him and show him how importantly we regard Wales, the week before last I heard I held my small and medium-sized enterprise forum in Cardiff at Space Forge, a brilliant Welsh SME that we are supporting with half a million pounds of funding to develop in-space manufacturing of semiconductors. That is a strong example of how we are supporting Welsh SMEs in the defence sector.