Holyhead border facility could create 120 jobs

HM Revenue & Customs plans to create about 120 jobs to staff a new border facility in Holyhead ahead of Brexit, the UK government has said.

The majority of roles will range from security, traffic marshalling and office staff, said Jesse Norman, financial secretary to the Treasury.

Specialist roles will be provided by the UK and Welsh governments.

Arfon MP Hywel Williams said the jobs “would not be a permanent answer” to unemployment in the area.

A location for an inland border facility to support the port has not yet been announced.

The UK government will enforce border checks for inbound traffic from July 2021, but from January, outbound traffic will be subject to EU border checks.

In answer to written questions submitted by Plaid Cymru, Mr Norman said HMRC is putting in place temporary arrangements to support Common Transit Convention movements through Holyhead for January.

He added there needs to be an inland border facility for customs, animal and food checks to serve Holyhead by July and details will be announced “in due course”.

The Common Transit Convention is a customs arrangement that makes it easier for traders to move goods across multiple borders.

Among the sites under consideration are the Roadking truck stop in Holyhead and the Parc Bryn Cegin industrial estate in Bangor, Gwynedd.

HMRC said on Tuesday it was in discussions with the Welsh Government and Roadking to purchase the site “for use in line with the staged introduction of full border controls in 2021”.

On Tuesday, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Holyhead Roadking site was “apparently” the UK government’s preferred site, but added that had not been formally announced.

Plaid Cymru MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams, said: “This new facility will create 120 jobs and I would be very glad if they came to Bangor. Some jobs will be for specialists, but others will be suitable for many local people who are losing their work due to Covid.

“But I have been told that the facility will only be used for two years. So this will not be part of a permanent answer to joblessness in our area.”