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Written Statement - UPM Paper Mill, Shotton

Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport 
On 13 November, UPM Shotton paper mill announced that a newsprint machine will close at the Flintshire plant and that 130 jobs are at risk. The closure is of the smaller of the two paper production lines. Other operations will continue at the site.

The decision is in response to challenging market conditions as newspaper circulations are declining with the growth of digital media. The company will also be closing operations in other production sites in Europe.

This is obviously disappointing news and will be a difficult time for those affected by the closure. A consultation period will now follow and the impact on employees will be confirmed once the consultation closes.

This morning I visited the paper mill at Shotton for discussions with management and representatives of the Unite Union. We will be supporting those employees affected by the closure. An offer has been made to the company to enable on-site access to support organisations such as Job Centre Plus, Careers organisations, training bodies and other agencies that can offer support and advice to staff affected.

I have offered to set up a group to meet and explore how Welsh Government can support UPM. I have asked David Jones, chair of the Deeside Enterprise Zone to lead this group and he will be making contact with the company.

I will update members if there is any further news.