WORK is under way to recoup a £3 million Welsh Government loan given to the Newport-based radiator manufacturer where 280 people lost their jobs earlier this week.

Employees at Quinn Radiators turned up to work at the site in Imperial Park on Monday morning to be met by administrators and told the company had collapsed and they were losing their jobs.

In 2016 the company was given a £3 million loan by the Welsh Government and, speaking in the Assembly, South Wales East AM Mohammad Asghar quizzed economy and transport secretary about whether this money was being repaid.


280 jobs lost at Newport's Quinn Radiators Limited as task force set up to help those affected

Quinn Radiators staff look to future at Newport careers event amid anger over how they lost their jobs

Quinn Radiators should be 'ashamed' of how workers in Newport were told they were losing their jobs - minister

"The announcement of 280 job losses at Quinn Radiators has come as a severe blow to this highly skilled, hard-working, and loyal workforce in Newport," said the Conservative AM.

"It is also concerning to hear that the company received £3 million in loan support from the Welsh Government as recently as 2016.

"Can we have your assurance, minister, that you will give every assistance in finding a buyer for this company, or to provide training opportunities for the workforce to find other employment?

"And what action do you intend to take to secure the return of the money lent in this case to this company?"

Responding, Mr Skates said: "We make no apology for supporting a dynamic business, an innovative business."

He added: "Yes, the business was secured for Wales through a loan, and we have already recovered approximately £0.5 million of that loan.

"Of course, every effort will be made to recoup it, and officials will be working closely with the administrator, and we've already met as well with the Development Bank of Wales to discuss how to minimise the potential shortfall."

Concerns were also expressed about the lack of notice employees and others were given that the company was going under.

Newport West AM Jayne Bryant said: "Worryingly, as the local member, who had visited Quinn's on a number of occasions, I was not informed of any difficulties.

"Similarly, Unite the union was given no prior notice."

South Wales East AM Delyth Jewell shared the concerns, saying: "One of the most horrible aspects of what has happened to (the employees) was how late in the day they found out.

"There was one interview with a man on the BBC who had taken out a £6,000 debt that morning.

"If workers such as he had been more informed, they could have taken that into account when planning for the future."

Mr Skates, who previously said Quinn should be "ashamed" of the way its employees were treated, said a taskforce made up of officials from the Welsh Government, Newport City Council, Jobcentre Plus, Careers Wales and the Citizens Advice Bureau had been formed to determine how these workers could be supported.

"The fact of the matter is, as Jayne Bryant said, she was never informed of any difficulties, Unite the union were never informed of any difficulties, as far as I'm aware, the local authority was never informed of difficulties, nor was the workforce," he said. "This came out of the blue for the workforce and for all stakeholders and partners in government at all levels."

The minister added he understood the company had collapsed due to the availability of cheaper, "lower quality" products from abroad.