End Of An Era As Ford Plant Closes After 40 Years

Sun 27th Sep 2020

The motor industry in South Wales has had a huge blow after the Ford plant in Bridgend closed on Friday after 40 years of operation.

The closure brings an end to employment for the 1,600+ staff who work on the site, many of whom will be retrained.

Speaking about the ‘dark day’ for the motor industry and for jobs in Wales as a whole, Unite Wales secretary, Peter Hughes said: "Today is a desperately sad day for all the Welsh workers whose employment with Ford officially ends today.

"It is also a dark day for the many thousands of others who also worked at this iconic manufacturing facility over the past 40 years.

“Ford Bridgend was able to hold its own against other Ford sites across the world throughout those four decades for one reason only, its world-class workforce.

"Nothing has changed in this respect in recent years. Every one of the workers who are finishing their time with Ford today retain their status as a world-class manufacturing worker. What did and has changed is Ford's commitment to Wales and the UK."

The news comes hard for an industry which is already struggling to come to terms with the pandemic and Brexit in 2020, and earlier in the summer was hit with the news that a planned 4x4 production facility had been scrapped, with France being favoured. INEOS Automotive had initially earmarked Bridgend to build their Grenadier, with 500 jobs in the pipeline when the plant reached full production.

The region’s Economy Minister recognised that blow, but also said they would work hard to being jobs to the region. Ken Skates MS said: “We will continue to do all we can to support those workers seeking new employment through our “Wales in Work” initiative in collaboration with a network of local stakeholders, such as Bridgend Council, Careers Wales and Jobcentre Plus, providing a range of practical advice and support."