The Leader and Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council have expressed their disappointment and concern following news that Ineos is suspending its plans for establishing a new production facility at the former Ford Engine Plant site.
Despite significant efforts and investment from a taskforce which includes Welsh Government and Bridgend County Borough Council, Ineos has publically announced that they have suspended their plans and are in discussions over locating to an alternative site in France.
Cllr Huw David, the Leader, said: “This announcement casts doubt over the company’s previously announced plans for relocating into the county borough, and comes hot on the heels of the significant economic impact that the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus is having upon the area.
“It is especially disappointing after all of the hard work and efforts of the Bridgend Taskforce which was established by Welsh Government in the wake of the Ford decision to close down its engine plant after more than 40 years of being based in the area.
“The need for fresh investment into Bridgend County Borough is now greater than ever, and we need urgent clarity not only over what Ineos intends to do, but on what action the Welsh Government and the UK Government will be taking in response to this latest development.
“I am writing to ministers seeking further clarification over this, and to obtain confirmation that Welsh Government and the UK Government will continue to work on delivering solutions designed to make and encourage urgent new investment and employment, safeguard existing jobs and ensure the long-term economic well-being of the county borough.”
Cllr Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, added: “As a British firm, I urge Ineos to demonstrate their support for backing British workers by continuing to progress the plans for developing a new facility at Bridgend.
“The council and its partners will continue to do all that we can to support the community, and to minimise the effect on the local economy as much as possible. But now more than ever before, Bridgend County Borough needs significant and urgent investment to help offset the potentially huge impact that this decision is going to have.”