The UK Government has confirmed that five Remploy factories in Wales, employing disabled people and those with 'complex barriers' to work, will close. The Department for Work and Pensions says 181 disabled and 8 non-disabled people are employed at those sites.
Two factories - at Bridgend and Croespenmaen - could be saved. Bids are being invited from outside companies to run them, as operations are considered financially viable. Two of Wales' nine Remploy sites, at Neath and Porth, are being kept open.
The Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller, made the announcement in the House of Commons this afternoon. She said that Remploy lost £70million in 2010-11, and loss-making sites can no longer be subsidised. She also said that disabled workers would be better served by being supported into mainstream employment.
Five Welsh factories will close between August and mid-December, it has been confirmed:
- Merthyr Tydfil
Bids are being invited for the operations at two Welsh sites, meaning they could be thrown a lifeline:
Two Welsh factories will stay open, as originally planned when the first announcement was made in March:
The factories were established 66 years ago as part of the creation of the welfare state. Workers are employed in jobs that vary from furniture and packaging manufacturing to recycling electrical appliances.