'Capel Hendre's Dewhirst factory must be saved'

First published in News

AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas and MP Jonathan Edwards have vowed to do all they can to ensure the doors of the Dewhirst factory in Capel Hendre stay open.

Their vow followed the news that the factory and its 114 employees could go if a new buyer for the factory is not found before Christmas.

The Dewhirst site currently acts as a holding warehouse for Marks and Spencers. There are also 10-20 temporary staff, security and catering staff working at the facility. The custom-built garment-hanging unit which opened in 1997 has the capacity to hold 2.5million garments on storage equipment worth £3million.

Earlier this year Mr Thomas met with Welsh Government Economy Minister, Edwina Hart to urge the Welsh Government to work closely with the local authority to ensure a successful purchaser for the site. He has again met with the Minister this week to express the urgency of situation.

Mr Edwards said it was crucial that the state-of-the-art factory, located on the gateway to the Irish market, stayed open and jobs were safeguarded.

“The Dewhirst factory is located in a crucial strategic place for potential buyers," he said. "The Capel Hendre site is located on the gateway to Ireland – the UK’s greatest export market.

“It’s crucial that this state-of-the-art factory remains open and these jobs are protected. We will do all we can to ensure the factory doors stay open."

Mr Thomas confirmed he had again met with the Economy Minister and expressed the urgency of the situation at Capel Hendre.

“Whilst there has been some interest in purchasing the factory, which could perhaps bring greater employment opportunities in the future, we must look also at the short time interests of the workforce," he said.

“My office has spoken today with both Dewhirst and the company which is marketing the factory to potential buyers. I now have a greater sense of how the Welsh government can support the sale of the factory.

“With that in mind, I have proposed to facilitate a meeting between the Minister and her officials with representatives of the seller so that we can get the best possible action plan in place to secure a buyer as soon as possible.

“My priority is the workforce and retaining the 114 jobs in Carmarthenshire – I won’t stop until that’s done."

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