A CHEMICAL works in Huddersfield is to close with the loss of 35 jobs.
James Robinson, based at Leeds Road, Hillhouse, will shut when parent group Yule Catto switches manufacturing from the town to existing sites in Germany and India, the company has announced.
Some 35 of the 64-strong workforce will be axed, but the remaining 29 will be retained in sales and marketing, research and development.
The company is now seeking premises in the Yorkshire region for those employees.
Dr Brendan Catlow, managing director of James Robinson, said the Huddersfield site was no longer suitable for the firm's needs.
Manufacturing at Leeds Road would continue for the next 12 months followed by six months of work to clear the site and decommission machinery. The premises would close at the end of 2006.
Dr Catlow said the company had been hit by the weak US dollar and competition from low-cost imports from Asia.
"Our strong market position has helped to mitigate the impact of these pressures, but we are taking action now to secure the long-term growth potential of our business."
He said: "We have put a lot of effort into investigating every possible means of securing manufacturing here.
"Sadly, we have concluded that it is not possible."
James Robinson is a long-established business in the town.
It supplies chemicals used in products ranging from hair dyes, drugs and photographic developers to prescription sunglasses, fluorescent jackets and yellow tennis balls.
James Robinson was founded in 1840 in the same premises it occupies today.
The company, which made dyestuffs for the textile industry, was privately-owned until the 1970s when it was bought by Hickson International Group.
In 1987, James Robinson became part of Holliday Chemical Holdings.
It was acquired by Essex-based Yule Catto as part of HCH in 1998.