I was disappointed to hear over the weekend of the proposed closure of the Harman International factory in Bridgend, who make and fit car audio systems.
Due to various forms of inward investment, some thanks to the border between Bridgend and the Vale also being the limit for European funding advantages (the old Objective One/Contingency funding etc.), there are a large number of factories or technical jobs in Bridgend (and in Rhondda Cynon Taff as well) that impact upon residents in the Vale, but that we couldn’t take advantage of to locate them in the Vale itself.
Although pre-dating the current European funding system, Harman International is one of those products of inward investment schemes, and, although they are being fair in providing such a lengthy notice period and giving the Assembly Government time to stimulate new job opportunities for those affected if they do continue with the closure programme, it is a disappointing turn of events – especially as the company has only recently won new contracts with top car manufacturers such as BMW.
I hope that the Assembly will be able to convince Harman International to re-think their decision and keep the plant open, and, if not, provide as much support to the workers as possible through the ProAct and ReAct schemes in the coming months.