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First Minister calls reports of Ford job losses 'deeply concerning'

Carwyn Jones says he's "deeply concerned" following reports that over a thousand jobs at the Ford engine plant in Bridgend could go over the next four years.

Carwyn Jones is seeking "urgent assurances" from Ford.

The First Minister, who's currently in the United States for a trade and investment tour, also confirmed the Welsh Government were "actively seeking urgent assurances" from Ford about their future plans.

These reports are clearly deeply concerning, and we are actively seeking urgent assurances from Ford - both in the U.K. and US - about their future plans. We are also speaking to the workforce through the trades unions and offering them every assistance. We have worked very closely with Ford over a number of years to secure a future for the Bridgend plant, and we remain committed to supporting these vital manufacturing jobs.

– First Minister Spokesperson

ITV News understands that Ford is responding to a fall in global demand and problems with efficiency - including restrictive work practices - specific to Bridgend.

The company expects headcount to fall from its current level of 1,760 to around 600 by 2021.

Prince William to launch new award programme

Prince William will officially launch a new awards programme while visiting a primary school in Wales.

Prince William will be visiting a primary school in Wales. Credit: PA

SkillForce's Prince William Award is aimed at helping young children between the ages of 6 and 14 to develop good character, confidence and resilience.

The Duke of Cambridge will meet with students who have participated in the award during its pilot year.

Skillforce is a national charity that works with schools, utilising the skills and experience of ex-Service veterans.

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Railway 'closed until further notice' after Storm Doris damage

Network Rails says the Conwy Valley line will remain closed until further notice, after investigations revealed the extent of the damage caused by a tree falling on the line during Storm Doris last week.

Storm Doris hit Wales with gusts up to 94mph. Credit: Network Rail

The line has remained shut since Thursday 23 February, when a tree fell on the line and disturbed vegetation on the rock face next to the railway at Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The line has remained shut since Thursday. Credit: Network Rail

We’re working hard to repair the rock face and get the line reopened as soon as it is safe to do so. The safety of passengers and our workforce is our number one priority. Due to the challenging weather conditions following Storm Doris, we made the decision that it would be unsafe to access the site until a full assessment of the rock face had taken place.

The aerial investigation allowed us to assess the affected area safely, and we are now carrying out de-vegetation work on the rock face. Once this has been completed we will carry out a more detailed evaluation of the site and put an extensive repair programme in place.

– Chris Howchin, Network Rail Wales
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Ford job cuts 'a body blow to Welsh economy'

Archive footage of the Ford factory in Bridgend. Credit: ITV Wales

Adam Price AM has described Ford's decision to draw up plans to cut 1,160 jobs at its engine plant in Bridgend as "a body blow to the heart of the Welsh economy."

The Assembly Member told ITV News that Plaid Cymru will be calling for a "crisis summit" and will table an urgent question in the Assembly.

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