A PLANT with 70 years of history in Neath has been given a £3 million grant to help keep it here for decades more.
Crown Food Europe, which occupies a factory known as the Metal Box in Canal Side, has been awarded the money by the Assembly to invest in its product.
The plant specialises in the manufacturing of lidding components for food cans and employs around 300 people.
A spokeswoman for the company said they would use the funding to buy new equipment that would increase the quality of its products and help it develop new easy-open technologies for the processed food can market.
“The investment will also build the skills of current employees and, ultimately, help create new jobs for workers in the region in the years to come,” she said.
Neath East councillor, Sandra Miller, who worked for Metal Box in the 1970s, welcomed the investment.
“It is really good news, especially for the Melin,” said Mrs Miller.
“It is technically the biggest employer we have in the area and it has been a solid one too.”
Mrs Miller said the plant had a good history of employing families.
“It has been really good for local employment,” she told the Post.
Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones, acknowledged the significant role the company played in the Neath economy.
“A key goal for the Welsh Assembly is to encourage innovation and build on our manufacturing capabilities,” he said. “We’re pleased to be able to support companies like Crown that have an established history in the region and are founded upon the same goals.”