More than 100 jobs at risk in Ammanford warehouse after Marks and Spencer ends contract
MORE than 100 jobs are at risk in an Ammanford warehouse.
Clothing company Dewhirst in Capel Hendre could close later this year unless another business takes over.
The 114 members of Dewhirst staff stand to loose their jobs if the warehouse closes.
The company which manufactures clothes for high street store Marks and Spencers, uses the Capel Hendre site as a warehouse unit to store and check products made oversees before being sent to shop floors.
But the Ammanford premises could be closed as Marks and Spencer has announced it is looking to stop using the factory as a warehouse.
Marks and Spencers first announced that it was to reduce its dependency on external warehouses in 2010.
The news was announced to Dewhirst staff on Wednesday.
A 90-day consultation period will be launched on Friday and redundancies are expected to take place between October and December this year.
Paul Hollins, operations manager for Dewhirst ladieswear division, said the consultation was in very early days.
"The consultation is happening now and we are anticipating that we will have redundancies taking place between October and December this year."
Mr Hollins said the factory closure was to do with a change in Marks and Spencer suppliers.
"We are trying to look for opportunities for other businesses to take the warehouse over.
"It is a first class facility with a first class work force and we want to see if we can get someone else to take it over."
Now politicians Jonathan Edwards MP and Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM are asking the Welsh government and Carmarthenshire County Council to help promote the facilities at the Dewhirst warehouse with hopes of preventing its closure.
They said the business needed help to market the facility in order to find a new buyer for the site.
They said: "Our office has spoken with the Dewhirst Director who is keen to promote the facility and find a potential buyer for the warehouse in order to secure in excess of 100 jobs and to keep the custom-built unit in operation.
"The warehouse is ideal for new and emerging companies, especially online companies looking to store clothing in a specialist warehouse.
"The company needs the assistance of the Welsh government and the local authority's business department to help promote the facility and to help market the service and the workforce to potential buyers.
"Capel Hendre is the perfect strategic location for this business; with easy access to the main motorway network and a short drive away from the ports for exporting to Ireland.
"We have already arranged to meet members of staff to discuss their concerns and pledge our full support to helping them during this difficult and uncertain period.
"In the meantime we have written to the Welsh Government's Minister for Business and to the County Council and have called on them to give their full support to secure the future of the facility and to safeguard employment in the area."