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Taskforce meets after Ford's closure announcement for Bridgend

Credit: Jacob King/PA Wire/PA Images

A Taskforce meets for the first time today after Ford announced it planned to close its Bridgend plant. The car giant said it would shut it next year, which will put more than 1,700 people out of work.

Workers have voted to take industrial action, if necessary, to halt the closure.

Last month, Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, said "Residual demand out of Bridgend is really not viable".

The Taskforce will be discussing the long term potential for the site. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Taskforce, which is co-sponsored by Welsh Government Economy Minister Ken Skates and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, will be chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE.

It will involve Ford, the Welsh Government, the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, Trade Unions, Bridgend council and others.

Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images

The Taskforce will focus on three key areas:

  • Focusing on those workers at Bridgend and within the plant’s supply chains to ensure they are supported throughout the consultation and in the future.
  • The long term potential for the site will be examined aiming to attract new investment to secure its future and the skills of the workforce.
  • Securing a resilient future for the area and wider region. This area of work will be led by former First Minister and AM for Bridgend, Carwyn Jones.

This is an important moment in the future of this state of the art Bridgend site and its many skilled and dedicated workers.

The Taskforce will take into consideration not only the enormous amount the workforce and facility has to offer but also what can be done to support the local supply chain and community.

In doing so, it will provide a clear steer on how best the Welsh Government, UK Government, Ford, local authorities, Trade Unions and others can work constructively together to support the region at this difficult and challenging time.

I and my officials enter these discussions with a determination to work tirelessly and with all partners to find the best way forward for all concerned.

– Ken Skates AM, Economy Secretary