Two funds worth a combined £3.5m will open later this month to try to boost employment opportunities in Pembrokeshire following the collapse of the Murco oil refinery deal last month.
The collapse of the sale of the Murco oil refinery was a bitter blow for the whole of Pembrokeshire and our priority now is safeguarding as many jobs as possible in the area. These two funds will go a considerable way towards achieving this by supporting businesses and individuals in the area.
A recruitment drive is being held in Milford Haven today after an announcement earlier this month that the Murco refinery was to close.
More than three hundred jobs are to be shed at the site after a deal to take it over collapsed.
The company behind the recruitment drive, petrochemical company Ineos, is hoping to fill vacancies at its site in Scotland.
The site in Milford Haven is due to be closed and used as a storage and distribution facility.
Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has called on the UK Government to apply for European funding to help the 400 workers facing redundancy with the closure of the Murco refinery in Milford Haven. Production there is expected to end after a sale to a Swiss company fell through.
Jill Evans wants Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb, who's also the local MP, to get the UK Government to apply for funding from the European Union's Globalisation Adjustment Fund. It supports workers who lose their jobs and small businesses which close down as a result of changes in world trade and the global economic crisis.
Any payment from the fund would reduce the size of Britain's EU rebate.
The Secretary of State for Wales has called this 'a hammer blow for the local economy'. That merits the strongest response and I call on him to ensure the UK government does not block an application to the globalisation adjustment fund.
Economy minister Edwina Hart has told AMs that every route was explored to save the Merco refinery in Milford Haven, where a sale expected to save the 400 hundred jobs there has now fallen through.
Right up to the line we were trying to explore if there was any more we could do. I haven't given up hope about potential buyers, I have asked my officials to pursue that vigourously. I won't give any false hopes but I know that I have the support of the UK government as well.
This is a sad day for Pembrokeshire and for the Welsh economy.
The minister added that she was really worried about the effect on businesses in the refinery's supply chain. She promised additional support with a physical presence in Milford Haven by Welsh Government officials offering help.
The collapse of a deal for the oil refinery in Milford Haven is "very disappointing", David Cameron has said.
But the Prime Minister insisted ties should not be cut with Klesch Group, which is also in the process of buying Tata Steel's long products division.
Mr Cameron made the remarks in answer to Labour MP Tom Greatrex who highlighted concern about the Swiss-based firm's intentions given its record of "asset stripping".
Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Cameron said, "First of all, let me agree with you it is very disappointing what has happened at Milford Haven and we will continue to work with the company concerned and try to find employment opportunities for all those that work there.
Union representatives will be holding urgent meetings with Welsh Government ministers later today and will press the Westminster to intervene to secure an alternative buyer.
Britain’s largest union, Unite is calling for a taskforce originally set up to secure the future of Murco’s Milford Haven oil refinery to be reconvened following the collapse of the refinery’s sale. The refinery employs over 400 people and its closure could undermine the future security of fuel supply, warns the union.
The workforce has shown great professionalism and resilience in these deeply uncertain times and need to be assured that every avenue will be explored to ensure there is a future for oil refining at Milford Haven.
A deal aimed at securing the future of an oil refinery has collapsed, threatening hundreds of job losses. Welsh and UK Government ministers expressed their disappointment that an agreement to safeguard the future of the Murco refinery at Milford Haven in West Wales could not be achieved.
Pembrokeshire County Council says it is liaising with other agencies, such as Job Centre Plus and Pembrokeshire College in order to offer as much assistance as possible to the refinery employees and the supply chain companies.
Council Leader, Council Jamie Adams, said the announcement by Murphy Oil was “devastating news” for the workforce and their families, especially as the sale of the refinery seemed to have been agreed earlier this summer.
“We will be doing everything we can to soften the blow for the individuals affected,” he said.
US firm Murphy Oil Corporation said its wholly owned subsidiary, Murco Petroleum Limited, was unable to complete the sale of the Milford Haven refinery and terminal assets to Klesch Refining Limited by a deadline of October 31.
"The refinery is currently in a period of shut-down, and will be decommissioned and operated solely as a petroleum storage and distribution terminal. The company will seek a buyer for the terminal facility along with three inland terminals. The sale of the company's retail assets is unaffected by the inability to sell the refinery," it said a statement.
Economy minister Edwina Hart said the work will not stop to help find a buyer for the Murco site.
Her comments come as the Welsh and UK Government announced an agreement by Swiss-based Klesch Refinery Ltd to buy the site had collapsed, leaving hundreds of jobs at risk.
“This is a devastating blow to staff at the Murco refinery and companies within the refinery’s supply chain, as well as the local communities around Milford Haven. “Our support for the Murco refinery and its staff will not stop here. We have been working with management at Murco since 2010 to try to maximise the opportunities for the sale of the refinery.
“We will all continue to work tirelessly with Murco management to maximise the opportunities for employment at the site, ensure the ongoing viability of the terminal and assist to find a new owner.
The Welsh Secretary has expressed his disappointment at the news the deal to buy Milford Haven oil refinery Murco has collapsed.
Stephen Crabb took to Twitter to say he was 'desperately sorry' for Murco staff, whose jobs are now under threat yet again.
Incredibly disappointing news about Murco refinery tonight. Desperately sorry for workforce & their families - endured months of uncertainty
Grateful to UK & Welsh Govs for all their efforts to keep Murco refinery deal alive.The closure will be a huge blow to West Wales economy