NEWS that a Deeside packaging factory is set to close is "very concerning", the Economy Minister has said.

On Friday, Mondi Consumer Goods Packaging UK Ltd informed its workforce that its Deeside Industrial Park manufacturing facility is to close - putting 168 jobs at risk.

The workforce has been told that the company is pulling out of the UK and that the work will be transferred to other locations within its global business.

And Ken Skates, Economy Minister, says Welsh Government officials are seeking "urgent" discussions with Mondi to reconsider its decision.

He said: "News that Mondi intends to close its plant in Deeside is clearly very concerning for the workforce, their families and the local community in North East Wales.

"I have spoken with both the local MP Mark Tami and AM Jack Sargeant over the weekend about the situation.

“The plant is important to the area and its manufacturing base and I hope the company will reconsider this decision through the consultation phase.

“This will be a worrying time for everyone and the Welsh Government, working alongside trade unions, will do all it can to support those affected.”

Unite Union described Mondi's move as a "betrayal of its loyal workforce", while a worker told the Leader they are "devastated by the news".

Mondi recognised that this is a "particularly challenging time" for its workforce, and said employees will be given support during the consultation phase of the process.