North West Wales

Porthmadog tax office staff keep jobs after closure threat

Thedford House, Porthmadog Image copyright Google
Image caption Tax office staff will relocate to the Department for Work and Pensions offices next year

Staff at a tax office threatened with closure in Gwynedd will keep their jobs, it has been confirmed.

But HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said the office at Ty Moelwyn in Porthmadog, which employs 17 people offering a Welsh-language service, would move to Thedford House in the town in 2018.

Staff were told the news on Thursday.

It had been announced in 2015 that all tax offices across Wales would close, with staff expected to transfer to new centres in Cardiff and Liverpool.

Next year's move will mean Porthmadog staff are based in the same building as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in the town.

Image caption Porthmadog tax office staff are currently based at Ty Moelwyn

HMRC said it would enable both departments to explore how they might work together in the future to provide Welsh language customer services.

Rachel McLean, director general of customer services at HMRC, said: "This move is vital to the success of our plans to continue to provide Welsh language customer services from Porthmadog.

"It will also allow us to explore how we might develop those services with both DWP and other government departments in the future."

Simon Brooks, chairman of Porthmadog town council said: "This is excellent news for the staff and their families and for the whole community.

"It is also a boost for the Welsh language in the Porthmadog area."

UK government minister Guto Bebb said he was "delighted" the future of the office had been secured.

"This demonstrates the UK government's commitment to the Welsh language and to ensuring that we maximise the benefits that come from co-locating government offices to provide the best possible service for the taxpayer," he said.

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