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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 08:06 GMT
Foreign competition shuts plant
Great Lakes chemical plant at Amlwch, Anglesey
A company is being sought to take over the Great Lakes plant
The first of 100 workers have begun leaving a chemical factory on Anglesey which is ending production after almost 50 years.

Great Lakes Chemical plant announced last autumn that it was no longer profitable in the face of cheaper competition and would be forced to shut with.

The factory has extracted chemicals like bromine - used in the production of petrol - from the Irish Sea for almost 50 years.

But now it cannot compete with Israeli and Jordanian businesses, which can extract bromine and other chemicals more cheaply.

Efforts are now continuing to find another company to take over the site on the north of the island.

As the first workers left their last shift at the plant Brian Macconachie, the Great Lakes site manager said: "We have a very small number of people interested in the site.

"We're evaluating the various options out there for us.

It's the equivalent of 1,000 jobs going in the South Wales Valleys
Gareth Winston Roberts
"It's a very good piece of property. It's well-serviced and its location is - while not ideal - not a bad location at all."

But Gareth Winston Roberts, Anglesey Council's Executive Member for Economic Regeneration said the closure was a "mega blow" for the area.

"It's the equivalent of 1,000 jobs going in the South Wales Valleys," he said.

"These are quality jobs, and very few companies on Anglesey offer these wages.

He said the council had set up a special group and was working with the unions and other bodies to see if they can find someone to take over the site.


But he warned any company which moves here would take up to 18 months to get set up.

The Welsh Assembly Government had offered Great Lakes 1.8m to keep the site open, saying it would have to repay more than 750,000 of grants it has already been given if it closed.

The firm's only other British site is in Manchester.

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