A Huddersfield factory is closing tomorrow – with almost half its 40-strong workforce losing their jobs.
Lexcast Ltd, which has produced cast acrylic sheets for baths, shower trays and wash basins for more than 30 years, is to cease operations at its premises in Ashbrow Mills, Bradford Road, following the closure decision taken by parent group Hartford Holdings.
However, bosses said 24 posts were being made available to Lexcast staff at sister company and bathroom manufacturer Trojan Plastics, which employs 180 people just five miles away a Britannia Road, Milnsbridge and is enjoying a resurgence in trade.
And it is hoped that more employees displaced by the closure will be able to take up new roles at Trojan in the coming weeks.
Trojan managing director David Mosley said the closure decision had been taken for commercial reasons, It was cheaper to buy the product from an external source while Lexcast was losing money despite substantial investment in the business over recent years.
He said: “It is a horrible decision for a family business to have to make, but it is being made for the greater good of the group. We hope to employ more people in the long term.”
In addition to Trojan and Lexcast, the group includes Aquacast, also based at Milnsbridge, which manufactures shower trays.
Workers at Lexcast were left “very upset” by the decision, according to one of them, who said: “Trojan Plastics has said they can now source the materials they need cheaper from elsewhere.
“They were claiming only recently how well the company was doing, but omitted to mention the fate of Lexcast.
“There is talk of some workers transferring to Milnsbridge, but for many who have worked at Lexcast for many years there is no future. Many of them are very upset.”
Trojan Plastics, founded by Mr Mosley’s father Maurice in 1975, is one of the largest manufacturers of acrylic baths in Europe. It produces a wide range of bath and panel designs for a varied customer base and has invested in modernising, expanding and re-equipping its Britannia Road works in the past 12 months.
The company is expanding into global markets with approval to supply to the United Arab Emirates and plans to export to Germany and Belgium. Trojan posted turnover of £17m last year and forecasts a 10% growth revenue for 2014.
Lexcast occupy one wing of the sprawling Ashbrow Mills complex.
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