THE high proportion of foreign owned companies in Wrexham could pose a risk to the area’s economy following Brexit, according to new research.

Employers being based in other countries was one of the main issues highlighted in guidance provided to the local authority as the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) looms.

The county borough has above average levels of employment in

the ‘most at risk’ industries identified by the UK government, including manufacturing, motor trades and agriculture.

Wrexham also has the largest amount of its population who were born in the EU out of all the areas in Wales at almost six per cent.

Advice from the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), which has been given to organisations across the country, said Wrexham Council should consider how to respond to heightened tensions within the community.

The report states: “Wrexham ranks in the middle 20 per cent of our Community Vulnerability Index and local authorities have a key role in promoting community cohesion and working with partners to respond to tensions and hate crime.

“Brexit may continue to exacerbate these issues and community leaders must consider how they can respond.

“Additionally, Brexit poses a number of risks to Wrexham’s economy, in terms of industries most exposed and the number of business that are foreign owned.

“The council needs to create a clear view of the local economy; including scale, strengths, weaknesses, sectors and productivity.

“This will assist you to understand the local exposure to Brexit by sector and intervene or offer reassurance and support where necessary.”

The council has also been asked to consider how changing patterns in migration may impact the make-up of communities and demand for key services such as housing and schools.

Wrexham has seen a five per cent decline in EU National Insurance number registrations between 2016 and 2018.

However, this is said to be low compared to the national average of minus 24 per cent.

The Welsh Government has given local authorities an extra £1.2 million to prepare for Brexit, which equates to £45,000 each.

A further £200,000 will also be made available through the WLGA.

A WLGA spokesman said: “The money will ensure there is a dedicated resource in each local authority to undertake the necessary planning, co-ordination and preparation work.

“It will be supported and co-ordinated by the WLGA across all local authorities to avoid duplication, maximise effectiveness and encourage cross local government delivery.”