North West Wales

Human-trafficking refuge plan for Anglesey Aluminium site

The former Anglesey Aluminium site
Image caption The former Anglesey Aluminium site

The firm behind plans to build a £1bn food and power plant on Anglesey also hopes to open a short-stay centre for human-trafficking victims on the site.

Orthios hopes to create more than 1,700 jobs with a combined biomass plant and eco park at the former Anglesey Aluminium site, near Holyhead.

It has now submitted a plan to turn a medical centre there into a refuge.

Anglesey council said it would meet the firm to "better understand" the plan.

The planning application is for a secure support centre, which would be operated by North Wales Police, the Red Cross and women's organisation, Soroptimists International.

The facility would accommodate trafficked or enslaved people intercepted at Holyhead port or in other parts of north Wales.

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Media captionAnglesey council leader Ieuan William said the 'innovative' project will create scores of jobs

Housing up to 60 people in two 30-bed dormitories, it would include washing facilities, a dining room, kitchen, lounge, communal areas, interview rooms and secure facilities.

The centre could also be used as a temporary emergency operations centre, in the event of a crisis on Anglesey.

In a letter to the council, the applicants said: "The Secure Support Centre will provide a safe refuge and immediate care for men, women, and families, who have been rescued from modern-day slavery.

"It provides temporary secure facilities where individuals can be interviewed, examined by relevant medical professionals and accommodated until more permanent accommodation can be found within a range of support centres throughout the country."

Anglesey said it could not comment on the proposal, which was yet to go before its planning and orders committee.

But a spokesman added: "Officers and members will be meeting with representatives from the company over the coming weeks to better understand these proposals and how they link with other possible uses on site."

Anglesey Aluminium smelting works shut in 2009 with the loss of nearly 400 jobs.

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