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BBC Wales's Miles Fletcher
"Since last winter the plant has been under the threat of closure"
 real 56k

BBC Wales's Miles Fletcher
"KTH is a big employer in a small town"
 real 56k

BBC Wales's Miles Fletcher
"A town of little more that two thousand people can ill afford to lose this number of jobs"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Miles Fletcher
"Discussions are focused on providing a new building at a nearby business park"
 real 56k

Thursday, 28 June, 2001, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Rescue package for components plant
KTH Factory at Llanidloes,Powys
A rescue plan has been worked out for the plant
The future of the biggest employer in the small mid Wales town of Llanidloes looks to have been secured by a rescue plan to keep the KTH foundry open.

Management of the KTH foundry, which makes products for cars, has agreed to a package that will see the plant redeveloped and around 120 out of 150 jobs saved.

But union leaders say they are confident they can save all the jobs at the factory that was facing closure.

Lembit Opik MP
Lembit Opik: Campaiging to save the plant

Officials from the AEEU have confirmed that the foundry will be redeveloped rather than the operation moved to a new site at a nearby business park.

Some part time workers at KTH will also be asked to take an 18 per cent pay cut.

KTH is the biggest employer in Llanidloes which has a population of just over 2000 and closing the factory would be a major blow to the community.

Local MP Lembit Opik has been at the forefront of a campaign to keep the factory open.

The company announced earlier this year that the factory would close in August, after losing orders from car manufacturers - mainly Volkswagen.

Since then discussions between management at the firm the WDA and the Welsh Assembly have been continuing.

Alwyn Rowlands from the engineering union the AEEU said closing the factory would have been akin to the steel closures currently hitting plants in south and north Wales.

He said: "The closure of this company would have been devastating.

"There are decent rates of pay within this company and it is important employer in the area."

The managing director of the company John Flintham said: "It is our intention to develop a world class facility with a long term future."

"Whilst the difficult trading conditions in manufacturing continue I am confident that we will have a facility and workforce that can compete in the automotive market.

"This should allow for future expansion of the site in the coming years."

Aid limited

The level of aid that can be extended to the company is strictly limited.

Powys is not listed as an Objective One area so that source of European grant aid is not a viable option for the region.

Nor is Llanidloes an assisted area - which means that it does not qualify for regional assistance.

Whilst the difficult trading conditions in manufacturing continue I am confident that we will have a facility and workforce that can compete in the automotive market.

Managing director John Flintham

KTH has blamed the loss of two major contracts for a slump in orders for the move.

The firm was part of Sir Geoffrey Robinson's Transtec group before it was taken over by a Midlands-based consortium last year.

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See also:

19 Feb 01 | Wales
Double blow leaves 500 jobless
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12 Apr 01 | Wales
MP leads factory rescue bid
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