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Jacob King/PA Wire
UK News

Bridgend Ford closure: 'Pray for employment in the area'

by Eno Adeogun

The closure of the 40-year-old engine plant, which employs 1,700 staff has insisted that falling demand for petrol cars is to blame and not Brexit.

The Bishops' Adviser for Church and Society in the Church in Wales, Canon Carol Wardman told Premier the impact will be felt in the whole community.

 

Speaking during Premier's News Hour, she said: "It's a major blow. South Wales is an area that's been hugely affected by industrial decline.

"We've had British Steel originally then Tata cutting back there.

"Of course a lot of people were employed in the coal mining industry, which of course has pretty much disappeared, and now this news. So, it is a major blow for the area."

The US carmaker has been accused by the Unite union of breaking "promise after promise" to the UK.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Ford's decision to shut its Bridgend engine plant in 2020 is a grotesque act of economic betrayal.

David Jones/PA Wire

"These workers and this community have stayed faithful to Ford, as have UK customers - this is still Ford's largest European market - through thick and thin, but have been treated disgracefully in return by this company.

"Ford broke promise after promise to the UK. First, it was that it would build 500,000 engines at Bridgend. That fell to a quarter of a million, then fell again and again.

"The company has deliberately run down its UK operations so that now not a single Ford vehicle - car or van - is made in the UK."

Jacob King/PA Wire

Stephen Clark, minister at Freeschool Court Evangelical Church in Bridgend highlighted the importance of prayer during these difficult times.

He told Premier: "People may struggle with issues of dignity, they may struggle in terms of providing for their families so there's a responsibility it seems to me upon Christians to pray.

"Pray for employment in the area. Christians and the Church are commanded in the Bible to pray for the powers that be - the governing authorities.

"We need to pray for them that they may be able to create the conditions where Bridgend would be an attractive place for other businesses to invest in.

"That's the sort of intelligent praying that the Church needs to do."

Listen to Premier's Eno Adeogun speaking with Canon Carol Wardman:

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