Plaid councillor urges Real Crisps owners to re-start business in Crumlin
Plaid Cymru councillor Keith Lloyd has called for the owners of the Real Crisps factory to re-start operations in the Crumlin area after the devastating fire on Thursday.
The Crumlin ward councillor went to the site yesterday having previously toured the plant at the Pen-y-fan Industrial Estate with Plaid leader Leanne Wood and South East Wales AM Jocelyn Davies in April.
Keith Lloyd said: “This fire was devastating news for the company and the 115 employees. Everything must be done to protect the livelihoods of employees and save jobs.
“I’d love to see the company getting production up and running again and re-opening in the Crumlin area. They are an important employer in this area.
“I understand from one employee that there was talk about alternative work in Northern Ireland but that would clearly cause major disruption for individuals and their families.
“The business was started at Cwmfelinfach so there is great attachment to Real Crisps and when I toured the factory earlier this year I was hugely impressed with the operation.
“I’m sure Caerphilly council and the Welsh Government if required will be pulling out all the stops to help this company recover from this devastating fire.”
The BBC has reported there are concerns among the factory’s 115 staff.
Paul Allen, chief executive of Northern Ireland company Tayto Group, which owns Real Crisps, told the BBC a meeting was held on Thursday with staff.
He said: “Clearly it’s very sad the factory has burned down, but we’ve had a meeting with staff and each and every one of them indicated their willingness to go to other group sites we have.
“I think it’s going to take us a few days because unfortunately a few raw materials, crisp packets and boxes, and flavours have been destroyed and it’s going to take our suppliers a few days to put us back into supply, but our staff is our main concern.”
He added: “We’ll come through this. We’ve got other capacity in the group and other people within the industry have been very supportive as well.
“At the moment it’s early days. We’re assessing the situation and trying to put in place some plans which will allow us to continue to supply Real Crisps across width and breadth of the country.”
Mr Allen said the company would not walk away from the heritage of the Real brand which was in Wales.Follow @CaerphillyObsvr