Ford has announced it has plans to close the Bridgend engine plant in South Wales amidst “changing customer demand and cost” yet denies Brexit as part of its decision to do so.

Around 1700 employees will lose their jobs through phases from September 25, 2020. The leader of Bridgend council, Huw David, said: “There is not a family who will not be affected by the closure of the Ford plant”. He added: “We are hoping the plant can be saved. It’s a long shot but we have a fabulous workforce here. Both governments want to keep the jobs here.”

Ford added: “Creating a strong and sustainable Ford business in Europe requires us to make some difficult decisions, including the need to scale our global engine manufacturing footprint to best serve our future vehicle portfolio.”

In a tweet from Unite, the union representing the Bridgend workers, Len McCluskey said: “These workers and this community have stayed faithful to Ford through thick and thin, but have been treated disgracefully in return”.

Ford’s European president, Stuart Rowley, confirmed that the company will repay £11m in incentives offered by the Welsh government following this announcement.