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Mustang Marine goes into administration

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mustang marine• 65 jobs lost • Local firms owed hundreds of thousands • Politicians want reassurances over remaining jobs

THE WELSH GOVERNMENT MINISTER for the Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, has confirmed to The Herald that Pembroke Dock based Mustang Marine is now in the hands of administrators Grant Thornton, but is continuing to trade. Around 65 employees have been laid off and 50 staff will remain, according to the firm.

Interim managing director Stewart Graves said he was still hopeful a buyer could be found.

Mustang has had millions of pounds in funding from the Milford Haven Port Authority and a cash injection from the Welsh government. Last week, the interim managing director said the company had a significant cash shortage in December which left it facing closure.

He said with assistance from a new management team and external advisers a long-term funding package was secured in February from the Welsh government and Milford Haven Port Authority and an external third party.

However, after completing its review of the business, the external party withdrew its offer, and “without that party the long-term funding package could not proceed”.

Alec Don, Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven said in a statement: “Mustang Marine is 50% owned by the Port of Milford Haven and therefore is an associate company.”

“We are obviously concerned about the great anxiety amongst staff and other stakeholders that this administration announcement will be causing. We have always been supportive of Mustang’s efforts to grow their business and establish themselves as a manufacturer based in West Wales in competition with other ship builders in the UK and beyond.”

“As a Trust Port we remain committed, more than normal commercial considerations would allow, to working with the administrator and other stakeholders to see a viable business re-established. We will do all we can to attract investors who can make a success of the outstanding facilities and location we have here, and employ as many of the highly skilled staff as possible.”

Politicians express concern

Delyth Evans, Parliamentary Candidate for South Pembrokeshire said: “I am extremely disappointed to learn of the news that administrators have been appointed to Mustang Marine. This is very bad news for the employees and their families and other local businesses that are also affected. I know the Welsh Government has been working hard to help the company find a way out of its difficulties. It is vital that every opportunity is explored to secure a future for the business and to support the workforce.”

Cllr Paul Miller, said: “I share Delyth’s concern for those people who are affected by this difficult outcome. Mustang Marine has been a major employer over the years and has directly and indirectly contributed to the Pembrokeshire economy.”

“I’ll be raising this with officers of Pembrokeshire County Council and with the Milford Haven Enterprise Zone Board. It’s critical that both organisations re-double their efforts to support job creation around the waterway.”

Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, has asked the First Minister what advice and support the Welsh Government will make available to members of the Mustang Marine workforce facing redundancy.

AM seeks assurances over jobs

Speaking at the weekly questions to the First Minister, Mrs Evans said: “The news that Mustang Marine in Pembroke Dock has gone into administration with the loss of 66 jobs is a bitter blow for the area.

“What support and assistance will the Welsh Government offer to those 66 workers facing redundancy, and how can you help to work towards safeguarding the remaining 48 jobs?”

In response, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones confirmed that “We are exploring a number of options at the moment, but I can say that those threatened with redundancy will be offered ReAct support and advice.”

ReAct is the Welsh Government’s Redundancy Action Scheme which has been put in place to help people affected by redundancy gain new skills and encourage recruiting employers to employ a redundant worker.

ReAct can offer help to individuals facing redundancy, or those who are newly out of work, by offering recruitment and training support, as well as discretionary awards toward vocational training. Help can include 100 per cent of training costs to acquire new skills (up to a maximum of £1,500), help with the cost of special equipment to remove barriers to training, help towards the cost of travelling to training courses, overnight accommodation costs – where appropriate, and a contribution towards childcare costs whilst training.

Mrs Evans said: “ReAct also offers packages for employers taking on someone who has been made redundant.

“The Welsh Government’s employer recruitment support initiative funds employers who recruit individuals who have been made redundant in the past six months. The award offers up to £3,000 paid in four instalments as a contribution towards wage costs.

“There is also an employer training support fund, which is a separate discretionary fund of up to £1,000 that an employer can put towards the cost of the new recruit’s job-related training.

“I urge local employers to consider whether this funding would be right for them.”

Uncertainty for suppliers

Last month The Herald reported that there were hundreds of thousands owed to local businesses by Mustang Marine. The administrators have now confirmed that the figure is around £350,000 and that there are over sixty firms owed cash. A local business man who spoke to the Herald on condition of anonymity said: “Our company is only a small firm, and we have been waiting for payment since before Christmas. If we do not get paid, which is now looking unlikely, we will be forced to lay off staff at our company too. The knock on effect of Mustang going into administration may very well be greater than the job losses at the firm itself.”

Alec Don said: “The interests of creditors and employees will be best served by all parties working together to ensure a strong business emerges from the administration process.”

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Pembroke Dock: Man hospitalised after ‘jumping through pizza shop window’

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A PEMBROKE DOCK man has been taken to hospital after becoming injured by glass in Pembroke Dock.

According to a passing motorist a male was seen shouting and screaming in the street – he was being restrained by others.

He then jumped into the glass window of the PizzaTime take away in Meyrick Street, cutting his stomach on the glass.

Multiple police vehicles and an ambulance attended the incident which took place at around 15.30 HRS.

The road was temporarily blocked.

Once police car remains on scene (16:49 HRS)

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Welcome for rail investment pledge

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TRANSPORT FOR WALES has announced the details of the £194 million investment plan to improve all 247 railway stations across Wales.

The Station Improvement Vision highlights what improvements customers and communities can expect to see at their local stations over the next fifteen years.

The ambitious programme will deliver free WiFi, improved shelters, CCTV, improved provision for cycle storage and improved passenger information, at every station.

Where possible, Transport for Wales will also create new retail facilities, presenting opportunities for local businesses and work in partnership to develop community spaces at stations.

The improvements include expanding the Secure Station Accreditation programme, a UK accreditation in conjunction with the British Transport Police, which will make stations safer and more welcoming for customers.

Demonstrating their commitment and supporting Welsh Government’s plans to create a more sustainable Wales through deduction in carbon emissions generated through transport, TfW will create at least 1,500 additional car parking spaces across the network, making it easier for people to leave their car and use public transport.

The Vision also highlights how accessibility will be enhanced across the network with the delivery of eleven Access for All schemes by 2024, with the installation of footbridges with lifts or ramps, partly funded by the UK Department for Transport.

As part of their plans to reinvest into the communities they serve, TfW has held events and workshops aimed at small and medium enterprises in Wales, providing opportunities for them to bid for work linked to the Station Improvement Vision.

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “Transport for Wales is transforming transport throughout Wales and the launch of our Station Improvement Vision indicates the start of a £194 million investment programme. This investment into all our 247 railway stations will improve the way they look, make them safer and provide more commercial and community opportunities.

“We want to improve the overall customer experience and also work collaboratively to develop partnerships with local businesses and communities.”

Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport said: “I warmly welcome Transport for Wales’ Station Improvement Vision, which will see a £194 million investment in railway stations the length and breadth of Wales and the Borders. Over the next 15 years, this huge investment will vastly improve important gateways to our cities, towns and villages.

“The vision has been launched in Swansea – as it celebrates its 50th year as a City – where it will contribute to the development of a metro system ready to meet the transport needs of the future. There are ambitious plans to deliver an improved railway and public transport network across all of Wales and the investment announced today will be a significant step towards that.”

In July this year, Carmarthenshire County Council leader Emlyn Dole welcomed the announcement of a new parkway station at Felindre.

Speaking at the time, Cllr Dole said: “This is very welcome news, which will benefit Carmarthenshire businesses and residents. An initial 14-minute reduction in journey times to Cardiff and onto London will make a significant difference to passengers travelling that route.

“New infrastructure, with supporting additional rail journeys to West Wales, is essential to boost the regional economic prosperity. And with traffic continuing to grow on key trunk roads across West Wales, an improved offer from rail both in journey time, frequency and quality of service is vital to help tackle congestion and improve connectivity.

Labour Assembly Member, Eluned Morgan also welcomed the investment.

Ms Morgan said: “This is an ambitious plan from the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales to improve the passenger experience at railway stations across the Welsh network. There is a sharp focus on making railway stations cleaner and safer for passengers.

“Lighting is already being upgraded at many stations including Clunderwen and new litter bins and local area maps will be coming – in an answer to calls made to improve Pembroke Dock station.”

Carmarthen station, earmarked as an ‘interchange station’, will benefit from new retail facilities, information screens and accessible toilets for all.

Marc Tierney, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire added: “The announcement today is positive for communities across the area, bringing them up to date and maximising their potential as transport hubs in the heart of our towns and villages. There is also the prospect of a brand new station at St. Clears.

“The Welsh Government feasibility study into reopening a railway station at St. Clears has put plans for the station through to the next stage.

“Re-opening a station at St. Clears would complete a missing piece in the network in West Wales. I trust the UK Government will make the necessary funding available as soon as possible.”

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Haverfordwest’s Regeneration Plans Unveiled

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Haverfordwest’s Regeneration will be the order of the day today as Pembrokeshire County Council releases its initial plans for the redevelopment of the town centre.

The consultation event at County Hall (2pm – 7pm) today will enable members of the public to view and discuss the plans with designers and council officers, together with Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Regeneration.

The plans, which include the Ocky White site and the Riverside area of the town centre, have been created to give the public a glance of what can be achieved in Haverfordwest. The Council are also clear that the plans sit at a stage where public suggestions and contributions can influence the final outcome.

“We want to create a new Haverfordwest experience that is for everyone and one that enables residents and tourists to enjoy the experience of a revitalised County Town,” said Cllr Miller.

“Public consultation isn’t lip service – it’s about seeking opinions and feedback on the current plans and encouraging those with great ideas to come forward and contribute to the redevelopment of their town. The opportunity is there and we are looking forward to engaging with those in attendance.”

The project design team will be in attendance this evening, together with representatives from Welsh government; an example that Pembrokeshire’s regeneration plans are gaining traction and awareness on a national stage.

“We are proud of the progress now being made on our county-wide regeneration and we are finally starting to see plans become reality, delivering what we feel is a value-for-money investment in our communities, towns and marketable tourism assets,” said Cllr Miller.

“Regeneration will be inclusive of those who want to work with us to build a new, vibrant and successful Pembrokeshire.”


To attend the event, report to County Hall Main Reception where you will be directed to the Consultation Event. (2pm – 7pm, Thursday 19th September)

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