Council announces new funding opportunities as it plans post-Ford talks with business leaders and employers

Following the recent announcement that Ford is planning to close its Bridgend engine plant in 2020, a high-level meeting of local business leaders and employers is being organised by Bridgend County Borough Council.

As a result of the announcement the Council will also be relaunching two major funding initiatives that will support supply chain companies and businesses that will be affected by the proposed closure.

The Leader, Cllr Huw David said:

“We have invited a wide range of local business leaders, representatives of the Bridgend Business Forum and employer organisations to discuss how we can work together to help the local economy can respond and rally to the proposed closure of the engine plant.

“At the same time, the council is re-launching two funds in support of businesses based within the supply chain network.

“Ford has been an anchor company in the South Wales economy for 40 years, and the Special Regeneration Fund will help local companies to diversify and invest to take advantage of different business opportunities.

“The council is also extending its Kick Start fund, which seeks to support new businesses and create new jobs within their first three years of trading by helping them invest in equipment and other capital start-up costs.

“The loss of the engine plant will be a hammer blow to the local economy, so we will need swift and urgent action from Welsh Government and UK Government to support workers, businesses and local communities.”

Cllr Richard Young, Cabinet Member for Communities, added:

“Bridgend County Borough Council is in discussions with partners at Welsh Government, the Department of Work and Pensions, Job Centre Plus, Business Wales, Careers Wales, Bridgend College and more on setting up a specialist response team to support the Ford workers who have been affected by this terrible news.

“The response team will help the skilled staff at Ford to find alternative employment, gain access to new training opportunities and more, and I am looking forward to being able to reveal more details soon.”