Seven ex-Remploy employees have joined together to form a worker co-operative on the site of Remploy’s former factory in the Fforestfach area of Swansea.
Accommodation Furniture Solutions (AFS) will initially provide work for the seven staff who have all invested their redundancy payments into the venture.
The new business will assemble and make furniture. Its owners have plans to expand and offer more ex-Remploy employees the chance to become involved.
Work will start today (14 October 2013) on assembling kitchen furniture on behalf of the Richmond Cabinet Company for some of its social housing clients.
It will also make and assemble kitchen units, fire surrounds, bathroom panels, NHS and care home furniture and bespoke student accommodation furniture.
The start-up has been made possible with support from the Welsh Government and the Welsh Government Employer Support Grant, the Wales Co-operative Centre, Collaborative Communities, Communities 2.0, Social Firms Wales, the Department of Work and Pensions and Unity Trust Bank.
The company has formed an alliance with Richmond Kitchens, a large company based in Manchester, to act as a local assembler for their kitchen fitting and accommodation contracts.
AFS’ managing director Kevin Edwards said: “When the Remploy factory closed in 2012, we wanted to ensure that the high quality skills within the workforce weren’t lost.
“With this new worker co-operative, we aim to develop a successful and profitable business and become a leading manufacturer and sub-contracting assembler within the UK market.”
Further details from:-
133-135 Neath Road