Monday, September 8, 2008

News: Optare set to close Rotherham plant


Following a buy-out earlier this year, an "in-depth restructuring programme" at bus manufacturers, Optare has led to the decision to close the firm's plant at Hellaby in Rotherham. Leeds-based Optare was sold to Blackburn coachbuilder Darwen Holdings in a £16m deal in June. A statement from the firm reported in Crossgates Today said: "Having recently completed our latest acquisition, Optare plc, we undertook an in-depth restructuring programme, the results of which will see our Rotherham manufacturing facility relocated to our facilities in Leeds and Blackburn. "We are currently in a phase of consultation with staff and employees at the Rotherham facility, the conclusion of which is likely to result in some redundancies. "Recognising the sensitive nature of undertaking this process, we continue to make every effort to minimise job losses wherever possible. "For the avoidance of doubt, the management team can confirm the intentions to continue manufacturing in Leeds and Blackburn, thus ensuring significant job security for those involved in manufacturing at these locations. "We anticipate a further update in the near future as we draw close to the completion of the consultation process." Wentworth MP, John Healey said: "The company has invested heavily in the Rotherham operation. "It is a big disappointment that they are now moving manufacturing back to Leeds and Blackburn. The move is at odds with the strong trend in recent years in Rotherham of very rapid growth in jobs, investment and skills. "My main concern now is for the prospects of the workforce." The Rotherham site also includes a fully equipped UK Service Centre operated by Optare's after-sales division Unitec.
Optare website
Crossgates Today article


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