Mid Wales

35 jobs to go at Elkay Electrical in Newtown

About 35 jobs are to go at an electrical firm in Powys by the end of the year.

Staff at Elkay Electrical, which is part of Thomas & Betts, have been given redundancy notices after it announced it was closing its Newtown factory.

The Welsh government said the firm turned down an offer to discuss options to try to save the facility.

Montgomeryshire AM Russell George said the announcement was "devastating" for the area.

Earlier this month, Mr George expressed his concerns about the factory's future to Economy Minister Edwina Hart.

"This will be a particular blow to the community and, on the run-in to Christmas, really doesn't come at a worse time," he said.

"I have kept in contact with the Economic Development Minister on this issue and she has informed me that her officials and Business Wales will continue to work with the company to support their employees as fully as possible.

"Discussions will now be continued with Careers Wales and other complementary organisations, for example Business Start Up, to establish access to all relevant support."

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies also expressed his disappointment about the company's closure, saying: "It is imperative now that Welsh government officials do everything they can to help find new employment and training opportunities for all the staff affected."

A spokesperson for Thomas & Betts said the Newtown factory would be consolidated into the existing sites, mainly in Birmingham.

"This decision has been taken to improve overall efficiency, improve lead times and flexibility in order to support and maintain the current Sales levels on Cable Protection Systems but also to create capacity to further strengthen the foundation for future growth," a statement said.

"This will also protect and maximise profitability going forward and allow us to retain a competitive market position.

"The outcome of this review will give the option for 27 positions to transfer to the Birmingham Site and therefore as part of the ongoing support to the individuals there will be an opportunity to transfer to the new locations."

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