Wales politics

Ministers may seek £245,000 grant back from newspaper firm

South Wales Argus office in Newport Image copyright Google
Image caption The Newsquest-owned South Wales Argus is produced in Newport

The Welsh Government may seek to recoup a £245,000 grant to a newspaper firm's production hub which is now closing.

First Minister Carwyn Jones told AMs that ministers would look to get the cash back if conditions attached to the grant to Newsquest were not met.

The grant was given on condition 50 jobs were created and 15 were safeguarded, with all remaining in place by 2020.

A total of £340,000 in support was given to the Newport project.

Newsquest, whose papers include the Newport-based South Wales Argus, opened the sub-editing hub in 2013.

At its peak the unit employed more than 70 people, sub-editing material written by reporters from 100 daily and weekly newspapers across the UK.

After two rounds of job cuts in 2016, the hub will now close in April, with work moving to Weymouth, Dorset.

Asked about the issue by Tory AM Mohammad Asghar in the Senedd, Mr Jones said the jobs target was exceeded.

But he added that if the grant conditions were not met "we will look to recoup the money".

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