The Chair of the Industrial Communities Alliance in Wales has called upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer to secure the future of the Tata steelworks at Port Talbot.
Tata Steel Europe recently announced that it intends to separate its UK operations from its wider European business, leaving the plant to stand on its own two feet. This has raised concerns about the long-term future of the plant which employs 4,000 people and injects £3 billion into the South Wales economy every year
Cllr David White (Bridgend CBC), Chair of the Industrial Communities Alliance (ICA) in Wales says:
“The future of the Port Talbot steelworks has been hanging in the balance for some time now.
“We’ve asks the government time and time again to address some of the issues that makes it tougher for Welsh steel to compete on the world markets, such as high energy costs and business rates, but to no avail.
“Both the UK and Wales governments now need to take decisive action or else risk losing one of our foundational industries. I’m calling upon the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, to make a significant investment or take an equity stake in the steelworks to secure its future. If the government is committed to levelling up the UK economy, they should support British industries.”
Cllr Robert Wood (Neath Port Talbot), the local representative on the ICA says:
“This isn’t just about Port Talbot. The steelworks provides well paid jobs for the whole of the south Wales economy. As well as directly employing 4,000 people, it supports another 20,000 jobs regionally.
“This area has recently suffered a big blow when the Ford engine plant closed at Bridgend. We can’t afford to lose another big player on the South Wales regional economy. The cost to our people and wider local economy, already ravaged by Covid-19, is unthinkable.”