Further Statement On The Closure of Ford, Bridgend

"News that Ford plans to close its Bridgend plant in 2020 is devastating for the loyal workforce at the factory, for the community of Bridgend County Borough, the wider South Wales area, and for those in the wider supply chain. This will undoubtedly be a very worrying time for everyone.

"Welsh Government Minister for Economy Ken Skates spoke with Ford management earlier today and yesterday also spoke with Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark. "The Minister also spent some time at the plant this morning alongside ourselves, chatting to members of the workforce and listening to their concerns. "The Welsh Government has supported the workers at Bridgend over many years with significant investment at the plant. Indeed, production of the Dragon engine came to Bridgend because of Welsh Government investment. We have no doubt that Welsh Government will continue to stand by the workforce and the community in the coming weeks and months. "We are pleased that the Minister has said that he will urgently assemble a Taskforce to support workers at the site and to explore sustainable, long term options for the plant and its workforce. We will, of course, Huw continue to support the workforce at this difficult time - a significant proportion of whom live in our Ogmore constituency. "The UK Government must now step up support through its UK Industrial Strategy to support the automotive sector and to help secure the long-term future of the industry in the UK through Research and Development and investment in skills. "Like all vehicle manufacturers, Ford is facing major global challenges alongside the drive for more environmentally sustainable technologies. Ford have a fantastic asset in the workforce and at their Bridgend plant and they should re-think this decision as they respond to that future. "We agree with the Welsh Government: the UK Government must understand how sensitive a time this is for many industries, both in Wales and across the UK. As companies in the automotive sector make decisions about whether to make long-term investment plans to meet future challenges, they need certainty about the competitiveness of the UK economy beyond the here and now. That requires, more than ever, a sensible approach to Brexit."

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