Warning of hard times to come

WARNINGS have been issued about the impact of the Alcan smelter closure on the wider community.

At a public meeting last week Chairman of Newbiggin by the Sea Community Partnership Tom Roll said he feels for the workers at the plant who will all lose their jobs, but he pointed out that there will also be hard times ahead for other local businesses.

“The sad thing is the financial effect this is going to have on surrounding areas where the employees live in Newbiggin, Ashington and Lynemouth through the loss of visitors that are attending this site,” he said.

“These are people who work with you, contractors or sub-contractors, who use the pubs, hotels, boarding houses and B&Bs, and bring money in. Every week you go around Newbiggin you see different faces.”

Rio Tinto Alcan Director John McCabe said officials understand the potential problems and are working on ideas to try to mitigate them.

“This is why we as an organisation and also the response group are looking at the impact on the community and the supply chain. We will look at how best we can try to mitigate the effect, such as the legacy work,” he said.