- All three Plymouth MPs met with the German owners of Barden in Parliament in talks to keep site open
- MPs join forces working cross party make the case for Barden to stay open.
Yesterday in Parliament, Plymouth’s three MPs held positive talks with Schaeffler’s European CEO, Jurgen Ziegler to work out a solution to save manufacturing jobs in Plymouth under threat because of the closure of the site in Estover.
The three Plymouth MPs from Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Moor View and South West Devon joined ranks and put party differences aside to make the case for Plymouth. The three MPs had previously written to the company asking for talks in an attempt to safeguard jobs in the city.
The closure of Barden with the loss of 350 jobs was announced by Schaeffler, the German owners of Barden, which will bring to an end a fifty-year association between the company and the city. The company is currently consulting with its staff over the closure and had previously announced plans to wind down the site over the next two years transferring work and equipment to other sites around the world.
All parties were aligned on the need to aim for a positive outcome that would provide the best solution for Schaeffler, their employees, and the Plymouth community; whilst recognising the need to maintain a professional level of planning should the closure proposal be enacted.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“Plymouth has a world class manufacturing base and I’m determined to work cross party to secure jobs at Barden and ensure that production continues in Plymouth. There is a glimmer of light at the tunnel for Barden workers. I made it clear to the CEO of Schaeffler that there is strong cross party support for protecting these jobs and he was left in no doubt about our resolve to find a positive solution for Barden’s workers and for our city.”
Plymouth City Council Leader Tudor Evans said:
“Everyone has been working very hard to find a solution to avoid the proposed closure. This is hugely important as Barden are a critical component of Plymouth’s manufacturing sector, which contributes approaching £900 million to the city’s economy. We had a positive meeting with the company and the city’s MPs in London and the Council will continue to do everything within its gift to help safeguard the employees there.”
Johnny Mercer MP said:
“I am committed to doing everything possible to safeguard this factory which has been a part of Plymouth’s manufacturing scene for fifty years. I will do all I can, working with other elected representatives from the area along with Plymouth City Council to bring clarity to the situation for the brilliant people who work there, and stability to this important part of Plymouth’s economy. Today was a good day; I remain confident that all options are being explored, and I am hopeful.”
Gary Streeter MP said:
“A good day. I remain optimistic for this important part of Plymouth’s manufacturing economy.”