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New jobs hope for Wrexham Remploy workers

Published date: 11 January 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A MEETING today could secure jobs for ex-Remploy factory workers.

Stoke-based Disability Employment is hoping to create a new factory on Wrexham’s Whitegate Industrial Estate.

Using equipment from the closed-down factory, the firm hopes to employ former Remploy workers to meet an order for kitchen units.

The Railway Road factory, which employed 42 disabled workers, closed after a long campaign against the UK Government’s decision last summer.

“The idea is to employ the people so cruelly made redundant when the Remploy factory closed,” said Nigel Barrett, who has been developing the business plan on behalf of Disability Employment.

“There is an offer on the table for two units at Whitegate.

“Then we need to buy the equipment from the old Remploy factory – we’ve made an offer for that, that has been accepted at a considerable discount.”

He said they hoped the Welsh Government would subsidise the workers’ wages.

The meeting this morning was to make sure everything was in place, he said, with North Wales MP Ian Lucas and Wrexham Council and Welsh Government representatives.

He said Mr Lucas, Stansty councillor David Bithell and Wrexham Council had expressed “great support”.

Before the Remploy factory shut it had an order for kitchen units with Wrexham Council, which the new factory hoped to fulfil, Mr Barrett said.

Disability Employment has formed a partnership with Richmond Kitchens and are looking to produce 100 kitchens in Wrexham a week.

They were looking at setting up a separate company under the name Enterprising Employment Wrexham, he said.

They would look to employ 10 former Remploy workers at first, perhaps increasing to as many as 30 by the end of the year.

On the closure of the Remploy factory Mr Barrett said: “It’s a tragedy really that it just got thrown away. It was a viable factory, with some investment and the proper management.

“It should never have happened, but we are where we are and we’ll see what we can do.”

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