Former employees Brian Osley and David Hall (pictured above) visited ONS as part of the celebrations. David (right) was one of the first employees on site when it opened.
“I had to arrive early on site to help the engineers with setting up the computer which took months to build. There was just one in the whole building. It was so big we needed a whole room for it but there’s probably more power in a mobile phone today!
“It’s been enlightening to see how things have changed. The work at the new data-science campus is cutting-edge; meeting with the team has been an experience.”
Acting National Statistician Jonathan Athow said: “We’re very happy to be celebrating our 50th year in South Wales. At every stage in its history our base here has confounded those who doubted that such important work could be done outside London.
“Our most recent development here, the new Data Science Campus, is building world-leading expertise in the innovative application of data science. It’s a very long way from the survey processing work that started it all off and reaching fifty is a tribute to our people who have risen to each successive challenge.”
The Business Statistics Office, a predecessor of today’s ONS, moved from Greater London to Newport in 1969. There were around 900 employees in those early years. ONS now employs over 2,000 staff at its South Wales base.
The ONS in Newport has become the home of the UK’s economic statistics, producing world class data that gives insight into the UK economy and how that is changing.
The ONS is also one of the largest employers in South Wales, attracting generations of talent with its focus on innovation, developing people and encouraging work life balance and community engagement for staff.