Burberry pledges £1.5m over 10 years in trust fund to compensate for closure of Rhondda site

Luxury retailer Burberry has offered to give special ‘loyalty bonuses’ to staff at its factory in Rhondda, South Wales, before it closes down at the end of this month.

The firm has also pledged to donate £1.5m to the local area over the next 10 years.

Burberry said that more than one-third of the 300 workers at the Welsh site have already found alternative work.

The GMB union, local member of the Welsh Assembly Leighton Andrews, and Rhondda MP Chris Bryant, who have all campaigned extensively to keep the plant open, welcomed the bonus proposals.

“We welcome Burberry’s agreement – as a direct result of the campaign in which we have been proud to take part – to provide £150,000 a year for 10 years for a special trust fund for the Rhondda,” a joint statement said.

“We look forward to making sure that it makes a real difference to people’s lives in the Rhondda. This is a unique achievement by a campaign of this kind.”

But the union and politicians said they still could not accept the plant’s closure.

“Despite public pressure, and a clear case being made for the continuation of the factory, it is clear Burberry remain committed to closure. We do not accept this,” the statement added.

“Burberry has offered to provide an ongoing contract to any realistic new venture. We will hold Burberry to this and there will be further discussions about it.”

Numerous celebrities have also added their support to the campaign, including actor Ioan Gruffudd, singer Sir Tom Jones, and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

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