independent news and information website for the towns and villages which lie alongside the River Dee in north Wales, from Connah's Quay to the border with Chester.

Economy Secretary offer of support for Deeside towbar firm in bid to save 94 jobs

Economy secretary Ken Skates has offered Witter towbars Welsh Government support in an effort to save 94 jobs which are under threat.

Mr Skates met managers and union leaders at the firms Drome Road HQ in a bid to secure the towbar makers future in Deeside.

Speaking to BBC News Wales, Mr Skates said;

“I’ve made an offer from Welsh Government to help with bringing in consultants to look at opportunities within the company to save those valuable manufacturing jobs,” he said.

“That offer will now be considered by Horizon, the company that owns Witter, and I hope they say yes.”

Horizon Global announced in August it was considering “strategic alternatives” for the Deeside based business this included farming out manufacturing to countries where costs are lower.

“Whilst it may be true the company would secure lower labour costs by moving to Romania, I do not believe that they would find a workforce that is as skilled or as loyal as the one it has here,” said the economy secretary.

The company entered a 90 day consultation period with employees and unions over the proposed loss of 94 jobs.

Last week Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant said he had written directly to Witter after it emerged from speaking with Mr Skates and Unite the Union the company had not responded to offers of support.

Witter responded soon after and today’s meeting was then scheduled.

Mr Sargaent also wrote to Jaguar Landrover to bring the consultation to their attention after it was revealed the carmaker had recently signed a large contract with Witter Towbars.

“Jaguar Landrover may wish to have some input into the consultation given that it’s a company that prides itself on British manufacturing.

“The loss of 94 jobs is no small thing so naturally I’m doing all I can to stop it happening, to minimise the number of jobs lost, and if the worst does happen, to make sure those workers have the support that they need.”

Witter Towbars was founded in 1950 by the late Colin Witter operating from a converted cottage in Chester.

Within ten years the company had outgrown its premises and moved to industrial buildings on the canal side within Chester.

In 1997 the company moved to its current HQ on Deeside Industrial Park.

The move allowed for a big expansion and manufacturing on a larger scale.

The company which is now owned by Horizon Global European Holdings Limited employs 124 people.