Economic Resilience Fund vital in protecting jobs at North Wales manufacturer

Hundreds of jobs at Chirk-based manufacturer Kronospan have been safeguarded with help from the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

The company, which supplies wood-based panel products, is a key employer in North East Wales with more than 620 workers.

Kronospan experienced a dramatic reduction in sales as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent interruptions to cash flow, which left the company facing an extremely challenging period.

It received £622,000 from the Welsh Government’s ERF, which has helped the business continue to operate through the pandemic and ultimately protect the workforce.

The ERF, which is part of the Welsh Government’s £1.7bn support package for businesses, is providing thousands of companies across Wales with significant financial support. It complements the help provided by the UK Government.

To date, more than 13,000 businesses have received financial support worth more than £280m and the fund has helped protect more than 75,000 jobs.

Ben Spruce, chief financial officer of Kronospan, said:

“The assistance provided by Welsh Government has helped us protect jobs and support our local suppliers.

“It has been a difficult period for everyone and we are extremely grateful to our entire team, both those who have worked throughout and those who were furloughed and have now returned.

“The support received demonstrates to us the proactive approach Welsh Government has taken during this crisis to support businesses, protect jobs and help the regional economy build back stronger.”

Deputy Minister for Economy, Lee Waters said:

“Kronospan is an important employer in North East Wales and I’m pleased we have been able to provide crucial financial assistance at a time when the company needed it most, helping protect hundreds of jobs.

“Coronavirus has placed incredibly difficult challenges on our business community and our immediate response has been to try and protect companies, jobs and livelihoods through an unprecedented package of support, delivered at pace, worth £1.7bn.

“Our Economic Resilience Fund has been a key part of that and absolutely essential in supporting thousands of businesses across Wales in dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic.”