Wales

Quinn Radiators: 280 jobs go with firm in administration

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Media captionQuinn Radiators administrator, Grant Thornton, said 280 employees were made redundant immediately

Almost 300 workers have lost their jobs after a radiator company went into administration.

Employees arriving at Quinn Radiators in Newport on Monday morning were told their employment was being terminated.

Newport West AM Jane Bryant said the "devastating news" came "out of the blue" and an event planned for Wednesday will help workers who have lost their jobs.

Grant Thornton has been appointed administrator.

It said there were about 300 people employed at the site, with 280 made redundant immediately.

"In recent years, the company has faced the ongoing challenge of remaining competitive in the face of increasing raw material prices and cheaper imported brands," said administrator Alistair Wardell.

"Over the past months, the directors actively sought a buyer for the company in an effort to preserve jobs and keep the business in the UK.

"These discussions ceased last week without success and with unsustainable losses continuing the directors took the difficult decision to appoint administrators, resulting in the immediate redundancy of circa 280 employees."

Image caption A letter was given to staff arriving for work on Monday

He said the priority is working with those retained to "achieve the best outcome for creditors".

The factory has two production lines with capacity to produce 3.5m domestic radiators a year.

In 2016, the Welsh Government gave the company a £3m loan aimed at creating 120 jobs and safeguarding a further 290.

Ms Bryant said: "This is devastating news that has come completely out of the blue.

"It has been handled dreadfully by the company and I have huge sympathy with all the staff who have been a loyal workforce over many years."

Image caption Of the 300 staff, 280 were laid off immediately

She said she had spoken to officials from Newport City Council, the Department for Work and Pensions and Careers Wales, with an event planned for Wednesday to help workers affected.

Gary Harper, who was a fork lift operator at the site, said he discovered what had happened through a news website.

He said he had no inkling that the company would go into administration, and had just bought a new car which he was now worried about paying for.

Mr Harper added he has heard "nothing whatsoever" from Quinn Radiators.

One worker who wished to remain anonymous said staff had had no notice and would not be paid their wages.

Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates said:"This is clearly very disappointing news for the workforce at Quinn Radiators and their families. 

"My thoughts are with all those affected today."

He added: "We will do all we can over the coming weeks and months to help those affected find alternative employment and training support."

Newport City Council leader Debbie Wilcox said a task force was being put together to help workers who are losing their jobs.

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