BRIDGEND County Borough Council has welcomed the announcement that Welsh Government is to provide £6m to support WEPA UK’s expansion plans at its site in Maesteg, which will see 54 new jobs created and hundreds more protected.
In June 2020, the council approved the company’s plans for a £100m expansion at Bridgend Paper Mills. Located near Maesteg just off the A4063 at Llangynwyd, the site will be developed into a fully integrated paper mill, doubling production.
A new paper machine will enable the company, which is one of the leading suppliers of household paper in the UK, to produce an additional 65,000 tons of toilet paper and kitchen towels for the British market each year.
As part of the plans, WEPA has also agreed to contribute £80,000 towards new traffic calming measures on the A4063 at Coytrahen as well as a planned active travel route for the Llynfi Valley.
Announcing the funding, Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
“WEPA is a vitally important employer in the region, and the £6m Welsh Government is investing will be crucial in supporting the local economy at what continues to be an incredibly difficult time.
“I am delighted our investment will help the business create good-quality jobs as the volume and variety of products produced by the business increases.”
Councillor Richard Young, the council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, who worked at the paper mill for 21 years added:
”This investment by Welsh Government is very welcome news especially during this time of uncertainty while the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose challenges to the economy.
The expansion of Bridgend Paper Mills will ensure one of our longest-standing employers will be around for many years to come. It will secure hundreds of jobs while generating more than 50 new roles, as well as about 100 more for the construction of the new facilities at the site.
This announcement brings back fond memories of my time working at the paper mill and the lasting friendships I made during that time. I left the mill in 1995, but I am delighted with this fantastic vote of confidence in the current workforce and the county borough.”
Tony Curtis, joint managing director of WEPA UK Ltd, said:
“WEPA UK Ltd has worked with the Welsh Government on this major project since the concept was first considered, and we are grateful for the continuous support we have received.
“During such unprecedented times as these, this is a fantastic development for our UK business, particularly for the local community in which we operate, our UK-wide customers and our employees who can now plan for the future with increased confidence.
“The project offers employment protection for our existing workforce of over 270 Bridgend employees, and also creates more than 50 additional jobs at the site.”