The Bridgend Ford Task Force met last week at the Bridgend Waterton Centre for its second full meeting.
At the meeting Chairman Richard Parry-Jones again emphasised the need to concentrate on tangible results from work being undertaken by members of the Taskforce and the focus on job creation.
Graham Hoare, Chairman of Ford Britain, brought the Taskforce members up to date with the ongoing consultation process. There were also updates from the three working groups that have been established to progress this work. These are:
- People: To support all workers and their families directly and indirectly affected by the closure (jobs, health, wellbeing, financial stability).
- Potential: To identify and promote the economic opportunities of the site, to support the area, workforce, and supply chain in order to create viable and sustainable commercial options.
- Place: To build on the economic and social resilience of the Bridgend community to maintain, promote and grow economic confidence.
Headlines of the updates included:
- The Taskforce has received significant commercial interest and is exploring a number of investment proposals for the site and the immediate area around it- details are commercially sensitive so cannot be released. An assessment criteria for these proposals is being developed to prioritise sustainability and quality of jobs offered
- An investment brochure has been developed highlighting the opportunities of a highly skilled workforce and modern plant in Bridgend.
- The Taskforce has identified relevant agencies who can provide support for those people affected by the potential closure and have engaged them in the ongoing work. As well as employment support and skills, the Taskforce it is also considering the support required from wider partners including those providing health services and financial advice.
- Work is being undertaken to understand the aspirations of the people affected by the Ford proposals and what support they want and need. As part of this Ford have engaged Right Management to provide out placement service in support of the workforce.
The Taskforce discussed the supply chain companies which stand to be affected by the potential closure. It received a presentation on the work which has been undertaken to date to understand the range of companies within the supply chain and discussed the type of support which might be required.
A high level approach for this work strand was agreed and it was decided that a focus on early engagement with the supply chain companies would be beneficial. To progress this the Taskforce commissioned work to discuss how to engage with the extended supply chain ahead of the next full meeting.
Priorities for each working group over the forthcoming weeks were agreed so work could be progressed ahead of the next full Taskforce meeting in September.