The Welsh Government will explore "every single opportunity" to secure 129 jobs that are at risk at a Llanfyllin factory, Wales' economy and transport minister has said.

Ken Skates told Senedd members on Wednesday that it was "understandably devastating news" to the small rural community following last week's announcement by car parts manufacturer Stadco.

He said that the Welsh Government's focus is to keep the factory open and secure jobs.

"It is vital because 129 jobs within a community as small as Llanfyllin is like a 1,000 jobs in a community as large as a small city or a major town," Mr Skates said. "It's vitally important that we do what we can to retain those jobs, if it can be achieved.

"A success in terms of retaining some employment opportunities, that being at the Laura Ashley plant in Powys, where we were able to ultimately support the opportunity that has led to a number of people being retained. And we'll do exactly that with this particular site."


Mr Skates added that there is a 45-day period of consultation taking place and that the Welsh Government will explore every single opportunity that might be for the business.

"Obviously, there will be fewer opportunities in that rural part of Wales than there might be in a more urban area, but we will endeavour to match as many people as possible—should they lose their jobs at the end of the consultation period—with other well-paid, highly skilled opportunities."

Montgomeryshire MS Russell George put the question to the Minister for Economy and Transport during the plenary session on October 7.

He said: "What is particularly sad is that only recently the company made a £2 million investment into the factory—that was last year—and had intended to make a further £2 million investment next year.

"Now, we all know, of course, that the pandemic is drastically affecting the car manufacturing industry, and this has, of course, a knock-on effect on companies like Stadco, but what was a successful and viable business in 2019 should be a successful business in 2021.

"Stadco is just too important a company in north Powys to allow it to close without making every effort to find a workable solution."