Alex Sobel, MP, visited a local paper mill to discuss community development this week but the impacts of Brexit threaten the firm’s success.
Weidmann’s, an international paper supplier based in Pool, works closely with the local community and employs 120 people in the paper making industry. In 2017, they recruited five more staff after winning a £2.5 million contract to supply North America. Weidmann’s now has plans to offer apprenticeships to school leavers in the local area but the Swiss owned paper-company is facing set backs due to Brexit.
Leaving the EU could mean that the company will face complications in shipping their product through Dover. Since there is currently no tariff on paper trade, Weidmann’s will face most of their complications in securing the right workforce and machinery to continue supplying their products.
The company works closely with local businesses but relies on international trade for some of their specialist products. Weidmann Whiteley is the only paper-mill in the UK equipped to produce specialised paper board which is used as insulation in high power electrical transformers and in other industrial machinery. They trade internationally with several European countries to North America and New Zealand.
Mr Sobel said: “Weidmann’s is a very important business for the constituency. It is supporting schools and industry in Pool-in-Wharfedale and is one of the few industries in the area offering hands on experience for school leavers. It is a real shame that their international trade relationships could be at risk due to Brexit. Weidmann’s is a great example of a successful international business and it would be devastating to the area if jobs and trade were effected in the paper-making industry when we exit the EU next year.”
Managing Director, John Briggs said: “We are pleased that Alex was able to come look around the site and find out about our community work and our support for apprenticeships, as well as recent initiatives which have opened up new export markets. We have worked hard to become an established site in Pool-in-Wharfedale and it is great that Alex has shown us his support for local businesses. We are hopeful that Brexit will not cause too many issues with our overseas suppliers and buyers and that Alex Sobel, MP, will continue to stand up for us in Parliament and in the constituency to maintain good relationships with the EU and our wider markets.”