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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 April, 2003, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Potential buyers visit factory
KTH logo
About 250 jobs are threatened at the factory
Two potential buyers have toured the threatened KTH automotive plant in Llanidloes.

Accompanied by Welsh Development Agency and trade union officials, representatives of the companies - both based in south Wales - expressed an interest in buying the factory.

More than 200 jobs are set to be lost when KTH starts closing down the factory next month.

But now there is renewed hope that the factory will survive, albeit with new owners.

Margot Jones, the chair of a task force aiming to stop the closure, said she was "absolutely delighted" that companies were showing an interest.

It is unfair to speculate or raise expectations on the future of the site
WDA spokesman

"We are quietly cautious but, if somebody does take over the plant, it will be great news because there has been a lack of confidence in this firm by the workforce," she said.

One of the companies that visited the plant was Newport-based firm Melloy Castings.

Managing director Terry Ryan said he had visited the KTH factory on Thursday.

"It's early days, but we are now waiting for information about the factory from the company that owns it," said Mr Ryan.

Shock

A WDA spokesman said it had appointed consultants to look at the KTH site and consider its future viability.

"The consultants have yet to report back to us with their findings," he said.

Llanidloes
KTH employs one in 10 workers in the area
"In the meantime, it is unfair on workers, their families and the local community to speculate or raise expectations on the future of the site," the spokesman added.

Chris Rowley, KTH's general manager, was unavailable for comment.

Workers were shocked by the announcement on 11 February when KTH bosses, Triplex, announced it was no longer viable.

The company blamed the setback on the loss of a large order to eastern Europe, which would have helped protect the workforce.

The closure would be a severe blow to the local economy.

It is heavily reliant on KTH, which employs one in 10 workers in the region.




SEE ALSO:
KTH worker worries over future
31 Mar 03  |  Wales
Hain's promise on factory jobs
25 Mar 03  |  Wales
KTH jobs set to go
21 Feb 03  |  Wales


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