HUNDREDS of shoppers in Newport threw their weight behind the campaign to save the Orb Electrical Steels plant, during an event in the city centre.

More than 800 people took time out from their shopping to sign a South Wales Argus petition calling on the UK Government to intervene to save the plant, which employs 380 people at its Uskside site in the city.

The event was an Argus promotion backing the nationwide Small Business Saturday campaign, and those who picked up a copy of the paper were eager to sign up to help try to save the Orb works.

The plant's owner, Tata, announced in September that it would close Orb Electrical Steels.

The Argus believes this is the wrong decision, prompting us to launch a petition to the UK government to step in to save the steelworks.

The Orb is a key fixture in Newport's history - the Transporter Bridge was built to ferry workers across the River Usk, the works football team would later form the basis of Newport County, and generations of families would find employment at the plant.


Many people who signed our petition in the Kingsway shopping centre on Saturday said their relatives worked or used to work at the Orb.

But saving the steelworks is not just about looking to the past. The Orb is the only electrical steels plant in the UK, and with the inevitable transition to electric vehicles in the future, the Newport factory would have a major role to play.

Nearly 1,700 people have now backed our petition to save the Orb steelworks. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has signed so far.

Click here to download the petition.

Print it out, sign it, get your friends and family to sign it; and drop it into the Argus office in Cardiff Road, Maesglas, Newport, NP20 3QN.