Jobs at risk as manufacturer announces plan to close Peterborough factory

The premises of Glassolutions in Fengate, Peterborough.
The premises of Glassolutions in Fengate, Peterborough.
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About 50 jobs are at risk at a Peterborough manufacturing site which has been earmarked for closure.

Bosses at Glassolutions have begun a consultation exercise with staff over plans to close its Fengate site, which has been in operation for five years.

It is thought about 55 jobs are at risk although managers say they aim to keep any redundancies to a minimium by moving staff to other sites.

Glasssolutions, part of the £120 million turnover Saint-Gobain Building Glass, supplies specialist architectural and structural glass for commercial and domestic uses. The business employs 1,100 people across 22 locations from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight.

A spokeswoman for Glassolutions said: “The Peterborough site has been operating as a commercial sealed unit manufacturer since 2012.

"Due to increased competition in the market, we’ve announced our intention to begin a consultation process on the future of the site.

"We are supporting and communicating with employees at the site as we go through the consultation process.

"We are also working closely with individuals and unions who may be affected by the consultation process, supporting those concerned in any way we can.

She added: "Our aim would always be to minimise the amount of any changes to the future of the site and, if redundancies do occur, to try to retain as many colleagues as possible within the group.”

John Bridge, chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, said: "These situations are always a challenge for all involved and eveyone wiishes they didn't happen.

"But there are more companies moving into Peterborough than moving out.

"The Peterborough economy is vibrant and lot of companies are creating jobs and new opportinities for people in the city."

A number of companies have recently announced plans to move some jobs out of Peterborough. These include manufacturer Redring Xpelair, which is to close its Peterborough site with the loss of 150 jobs and finance companies Travelex, of Thorpe Wood, which is moving 75 jobs to India and Western Union Business Solutions that has moved 50 jobs to Lithuania.

At the same time, there has been a steady flow of companies announcing jobs creation and new businesses moving into the city.

For instance, new arrivals taxi gaint Addison Lee has created 250 jobs, Smart Gardens Projects has recruited 25 staff and Metro Bank has created 25 jobs.

Online retailing giant Amazon, which has 1,500 permanent staff in Fletton, is creating 2,500 seasonal jobs in Peterborough and the Royal Mail is creating 100 jobs at its sorting centre in Werrington while print-to-mail firm KJS, of Fengate, has created a number of jobs following a £400,000 investment in new machinery.

Mr Bridge added: "It is also not true to say high skilled jobs are being replaced by lesser skilled jobs. My feeling is that these days most jobs require people with considerable skills in different ways."

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