Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales
The Laura Ashley Group has been a significant employer in mid Wales for many decades, so it was a huge blow for the region when the Group was placed into administration at the end of March this year. The company, founded by the late Laura Ashley and her husband Bernard, has grown considerably over the years from its early beginnings in Carno, mid Wales. The company has provided some 500+ jobs at Newtown, where they have operated the call centre, warehousing and distribution facilities, together with the manufacture of paint, wallpaper and home furnishings at their premises on the Vastre and Mochdre Industrial estates within the town.
A Welsh Government Taskforce has had continuing discussions with the Chief Executive, Ms Katharine Poulter and the executive team, together with Gordon Brothers (who acquired the Brand and associated IP in an earlier deal with the administrators), PWC as the administrators and with other interested parties to try to safeguard a sustainable future for the company in Newtown. We continue to remain open to exploring all options with any interested parties.
The news of further recent redundancies, on the back of earlier announced redundancies at the company, is clearly disappointing and our thoughts are with the affected individuals at this difficult time, for whom we continue to offer all available support via the Working Wales and ReAct programmes.