AT LEAST £330,000 is owed to nearly 60 Pembrokeshire businesses by Mustang Marine which officially entered administration with the loss of 66 jobs on Monday (March 3), the Western Telegraph can reveal.

According to documents listing the Pembroke Dock-based boat building and ship repair company’s creditors, seen by the Western Telegraph, Mustang Marine owed more than £1.5m in early January.

One Pembrokeshire business was owed nearly £70,000 at that time.

Mustang Marine interim managing director Stewart Graves refused to comment on how much was owed to Pembrokeshire businesses.

Questions have now been asked over whether the Port of Milford Haven has either a moral or legal obligation to ensure Pembrokeshire creditors are paid what is owed to them.

Alec Don, chief executive of the Port, said: “Mustang Marine is 50% owned by the Port of Milford Haven and therefore is an associate company.

“We are obviously concerned about the great anxiety amongst staff and other stakeholders that this administration announcement will be causing. We have always been supportive of Mustang’s efforts to grow their business and establish themselves as a manufacturer based in west Wales in competition with other ship builders in the UK and beyond.

“As a Trust Port we remain committed, more than normal commercial considerations would allow, to working with the administrator and other stakeholders to see a viable business re-established.

“We will do all we can to attract investors who can make a success of the outstanding facilities and location we have here, and employ as many of the highly skilled staff as possible.

“The interests of creditors and employees will be best served by all parties working together to ensure a strong business emerges from this process.”

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart said: “My primary concern is for the people whose jobs have been lost or are at risk, but in particular for the large number of Pembrokeshire-based companies who are without money as a result of this sequence of events.

“It’s hard to see how the Port can disconnect itself from its obligation to see the creditors right.”

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire AM Angela Burns has also raised concerns over the potential impact on the local supply chain, while Labour Parliamentary candidate for Preseli Pembrokeshire Paul Miller said it was critical for both Pembrokeshire County Council and the Milford Haven Enterprise Zone Board to “re-double their efforts to support job creation around the waterway.”

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb said: “There’s a lot of work going on now involving companies which may be interested in parts of the former Mustang business and our hope must be that as many jobs as possible are saved and for the Mustang site to be put to good use.”

See much more on this story in Wednesday's Western Telegraph.

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