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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Burberry plant sold to developers
Burberry factory, Treorchy
Burberry closed the factory saying it was not 'commercially viable'
The former Burberry factory in the Rhondda has been sold to property developers who plan to spend up to 2.5m on the plant, it has emerged.

The factory closed in March with more than 300 job losses after a campaign featuring celebrities to keep it open.

The Treorchy site will be divided into smaller units which will then be put up for sale or lease next year.

A proposed workers' co-operative to produce clothing at the Treorchy plant has also collapsed.

The purchase of the factory by the Cardiff-based property-development firm Garrison Barclay was completed during the summer.

The 106,000 sq ft (9,850 sq m) factory on 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares) will be split into 10-15 units and made available to all types of occupiers.

Clockwise from top left: Emma Thompson, Rhys Ifans, Bryn Terfel and Ioan Gruffudd
A number of celebrities backed the campaign to keep the site open

Managing director Tristan Hobbs said: "The local workforce in Treorchy I think offers a great opportunity for any business looking to locate here.

"The road infrastructure is good. The employment base is good. The accessibility to this building is good.

"The only disadvantage that this building has in its current form is that it is too big.

"I think that the opportunities would be fewer for the building as it stands without an investor coming in, like ourselves, and spending the money here and making it available for wider range of businesses."

Wayne Phillips, who worked at the plant for 36 years, said he hoped the development worked out.

He said: "The people who worked here are a good workforce, and everybody knows that.

"I don't know how many have got jobs at the moment but I'm sure that if there were jobs going here, they would jump at them."

Workers at the Burberry story in London on Saturday
The workers' campaign included protests at Burberry's London stores

The GMB union has welcomed the plan, saying it offers the potential to create jobs.

A workers' co-operative proposed at the site has collapsed because a number of senior staff pulled out. The co-operative would have employed about 50 people.

Burberry made its announcement almost a year ago that it was to close its factory in the Rhondda and move production of its polo shirts to China.

Months of protests around the world followed, attracting support from a number of celebrities.

Burberry agreed to offer enhanced redundancy payments, extra funds for retraining and to give 150,000 every year for the next 10 years to the community.

That money will be given to an independent committee.

In March, workers made a final march from the factory, which closed after 60 years of production, and were joined by a male choir on their final rally in the town.




SEE ALSO
Rock acts play for Burberry staff
24 Mar 07 |  South East Wales
Burberry plant protests go global
14 Feb 07 |  South East Wales

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