Businesses and workers whose jobs and livelihoods have been affected by the recent fire which destroyed a large warehouse and damaged several neighbouring premises on Bridgend Industrial Estate are receiving a range of support from Bridgend County Borough Council.
A total of 42 businesses were affected by the blaze, which destroyed and damaged some premises and affected the power supply to others. While investigations are still ongoing as to what caused the fire, 37 of the affected businesses have been able to resume trading.
I have said: “This was an extremely serious fire which destroyed a building that was about the size of two football pitches, and which would have caused even more damage had it not been for the swift action of the emergency front-line services.
“In the aftermath of the fire, council staff have been offering practical help and support to businesses and workers whose livelihoods have been affected.
“This has included help with locating alternative premises on both a long and short term basis, working in partnership with South Wales Police to regain access to affected premises, identifying sources of emergency funding, and ensuring that barriers and other measures have been in place to protect businesses and members of the public.
“Our Employability Team has also been offering expert help and advice to individual employees, including support with finding new work, accessing training, gaining new qualifications, developing new skills and more.”
One of the businesses to have received support is Benchmark Scenic Construction, which specialises in manufacturing scenery and props for the film and television industry.
Tom Berrow, owner of Benchmark Scenic Construction, said: “The advice and support offered by Bridgend County Borough Council has been very useful, and has covered a range of issues designed to help us get the business back on its feet.
“This has included support with finding holdover premises that we can use as a temporary assembly place, advice on how we can access emergency funding to help our staff and more.
“I’m grateful for the support, and would encourage other businesses who have been affected by the fire to get in touch with the council to see for themselves how they might be able to help.”
South Wales Police have arrested and bailed a 25-year-old local man on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life, and their investigations are ongoing.