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Milestone for Ford's Bridgend factory

Ford engines being built on the production line at the Bridgend factory Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire

The Ford factory at Bridgend has built its 20-millionth engine, 37 years after the first one was produced.

The company hailed the achievement weeks after announcing it will be cutting back on future investment.

Ford is reducing investment in a new engine at Bridgend from £181 million to £100 million, but says there will be no redundancies.

Bridgend has a proud record of high-quality engine production and I'm delighted to celebrate this significant milestone with the team that builds them.

Today the plant builds a range of high-tech EcoBoost products, and we continue to invest in Bridgend, with the plant confirmed to build the next generation of fuel-efficient petrol engines.

– Linda Cash, Ford of Europe's vice president of manufacturing

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'Huge potential' for Welsh companies following Hinkley Point announcement

The Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure has told ITV News there is 'huge potential' for companies in Wales to take advantage of the Hinkley point project, which was given the go ahead by the government earlier today.

Ken Skates AM said it is 'positive news' for the Welsh supply chain and the government here will be working to capitalise on the announcement.

"It's very early days in terms of estimates but there's huge potential. Which is why we want to be there right at the front of the queue banging on the door to capture as much work there as possible for Welsh companies", he said.

Around 25,000 jobs are believed to be created by the project, which was first announced in 2008 as one of eight new nuclear power stations by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The estimated cost will be around £18 billion pounds - a price split between French company EDF and China General Nuclear Power.

Read more: Hinkley Point: Explained

Horizon: Hinkley nuclear plant announcement 'good news'

The company behind plans to build a nuclear power station on Anglesey has welcomed today's news that the government has given the go ahead for a nuclear plant in Somerset.

It's expected to be another nine years before the nuclear plant is operational Credit: PA

“New nuclear is vital for the UK’s future electricity mix and so today’s announcement on Hinkley Point C is good news for the country’s security of supply and clean energy needs.

"The emphasis must now be on delivering the Government’s vision of a wider nuclear programme in the UK and we remain focused on continuing to make strong progress with our lead Wylfa Newydd project. This includes clearing our tried and tested reactor technology for deployment in the UK, consulting across North Wales on our plans and the huge economic opportunities they will deliver, and working with Government on a deal that delivers at a fair and acceptable price for all.”

– Duncan Hawthorne, CEO of Horizon Nuclear Power

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Unite Wales calls for Ford to “end the silence”

Unite Wales has called on Ford to "end the silence" over the future of the Bridgend engine plant.

Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire

This follows Ford's announcement that the production of the new Dragon engine is to be halved but the company insists production at the plant 'remains healthy'.

Bridgend Engine plant has a world class workforce and the plant deserves to have a long term secure future. Ford must end the silence and set out how it envisages Bridgend playing a key role in its global production strategy. Unite will never roll over and accept the slow demise and ultimate death of the plant. We are calling upon Ford, at the very highest levels of the company, to talk with us about how we can work together to secure a sustainable way forward for the plant, that builds upon its enormous strengths.

– Andy Richards, Unite Wales Secretary

Ford says it will continue to constantly review capacity and demand and 'deal with the reality' of its business and market competition, taking 'whatever action needed to build a vibrant and sustainably profitable Ford business in Europe'.

New jobs for Bridgend

Credit: Google maps

An investment and expansion at Zimmer Biomet’s Bridgend site has been announced. It will create 39 new jobs and safeguard 50 more

The £2.5m investment - backed by Welsh Government finance will create a European Centre of Excellence for Porous Coating that allows the company to specialize in technologies used in the manufacture of orthopaedic implants.

Zimmer Biomet’s UK operation employs more than 800 people from all over South Wales at Bridgend’s Waterton Industrial Estate, where it manufactures a range of hip and knee replacement products.

It is a key investment that secures the long term sustainable growth of the business in Wales and ensures it will continue to pay a prominent role within this global organisation.

It is an exciting time for Zimmer Biomet’s Bridgend facility which is experiencing significant growth and high demand for its products. This expansion will increase its capacity, capability and competitiveness and create highly skilled well paid jobs.

– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister
  1. Mike Griffiths

What should the next Wales and Borders rail franchise deal look like?

Thirty million train trips were made in Wales over the last year - and the numbers are growing. But the contract for who runs the Wales & Borders franchise will soon be up for grabs.

Arriva Trains Wales' deal runs out in 2018 - and next year the Welsh Government could renew it or bring in another operator.

The new contract will last for 15 years and is worth around £3.5bn.

The government will expect faster journeys, improved reliability and less overcrowding.

It will be the first time the Welsh Government decides on a train operator - and now the Auditor General for Wales says it must 'manage the risks' effectively if benefits are to be delivered.

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