Posted: Wed 3rd Jul 2024

Deeside trailer firm is a “massive anchor” company that keeps the Welsh pound local

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

A trailer firm that captured the imagination of Hollywood superstars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds supports 10,000 jobs worldwide, it’s been revealed.

After hearing the news during a visit to Ifor Williams Trailers (IWT), Ken Skates, the MS for Clwyd South who’s also the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport, said it was “difficult to exaggerate how important the business is to the economy of Wales”.

As well as employing 650 people directly, the company, which has six factories in Denbighshire and Deeside, supports an “economic eco system” of contractors and suppliers – as well as more than 120 distributors across the UK and the world, as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.

The company’s global fame hit new heights after Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds bought Wrexham AFC which has been sponsored by the company since 2016.

They announced the takeover in a hilarious video featuring a spoof sales pitch for IWT’s famous horseboxes.

The video went viral and racked up more than five million views in less than a week.

During his visit Mr Skates met three of IWT’s local contractors and among them was Alan Jones, who runs the building and maintenance firm, T.G. Jones Llety, based in Gwyddelwern, near Corwen, who employ 12 people and have worked for IWT for nearly 40 years.

They built the two factory units and the company’s group head office complex at Ty’n Llidiart, above Corwen, as well as refurbishing and maintaining the buildings at all of IWT’s six sites.

Mr Jones, known universally as Alan Llety, said: “It’s been a brilliant partnership for us because we have had so much work off them and we always do our utmost to provide the best service to Ifor Williams Trailers.

“In the time we have been working with them, we have seen the company grow and develop and I feel proud that we work for them. “

There was a similar sentiment from Dei Hughes, who’s celebrating the 20th anniversary of his company, D A Hughes Electrical Services, based in Glanrafon, near Corwen, this year.

After starting out as a one-man band, he now employs 12 electricians, including three apprentices and two of his sons.

He said: “Working for a company like this which is local and has regular work was a really good step forward for us and a sound base for our success.

“As Ifor Williams Trailers has expanded, we have grown with them so they are important to the local economy.

“The people I employ spend their money locally so it keeps the Welsh pound local.”

Iorwerth Roberts founded his garage, I and D Roberts, in Cynwyd, near Corwen, in 1997 and has been maintaining and repairing IWT’s vehicle fleet for the past 15 years.

More recently his two sons, Iolo and Deian, have been travelling across the UK to set up IWT’s stands at all the major shows, including the Royal Welsh Show and the Highland Show in Scotland.

Mr Roberts said: “It’s an honour for me, for the company and for the lads as well to work for a company with such a great reputation worldwide.”

Meeting the trio of contractors, said Mr Skates, had confirmed to him that Ifor Williams Trailers is “massive anchor company” for rural Wales.

He said: “They provide so many opportunities for good quality work for other small businesses and it’s all built off the back of the highest quality trailers you can get.

“The contactors they use also employ local people and what’s striking is that Alan, for example, has a workforce of entirely Welsh speakers so it’s not only supporting the local economy but is also important in terms of the Welsh language and culture.

“It’s a great demonstration of the value of Ifor Williams Trailers to this part of Wales and I don’t think it’s possible to exaggerate how important this business is to the economy of Wales and particularly this part of Wales.

“It has such a major beneficial impact on our economy, the jobs market and crucially on our culture and our community.

“Ifor Williams Trailers is a world class company that’s flying the flag for Wales across the globe. It’s a flagship company that we can be immensely proud of and one that’s caught the imagination of the creativity of Hollywood even.

“Directly and indirectly supporting 10,000 jobs is something that very few Welsh businesses can boast of and that demonstrates the reach, depth and history of the business that’s rooted in Wales.”

The visit was hosted by IWT Managing Director John Williams who said: “I am delighted that Ken was able to find the time in his busy schedule to come and see us again and meet three of our loyal and valued contractors.

“As well as our direct workforce, the likes of Alan, Dei and Iorwerth and their teams have played a hugely important role in our success in building a global brand and flying the flag for Wales.”

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