Over 200 jobs are at risk after Baxi Heating UK announced plans to close down one of its sites.
Britain’s largest manufacturer of electric water heating products has announced its closing one site and moving production up north.
Baxi Heating UK is moving the manufacturing of water cylinders and electric water heaters from Norwich to its major site in Preston.
In a statement last night, Baxi Heating UK said they wanted to grow its market position and deal with future challenges more effectively. It also wanted to create additional space at its Preston site.
“We have now successfully launched a new generation of compact boilers that use stainless steel heat exchangers. This, and the strategic decision to outsource aluminium heat exchangers used in some older boiler types, has led us to take the decision to close the Preston foundry in 2019.
“The closure of the foundry will create additional space at the Preston site, and we are therefore proposing to transfer the production of water cylinders and electric water heaters for our Heatrae Sadia and Megaflo brands, from our smaller Norwich site, to Preston.”
The company “regrettably” acknowledged the move would result in job losses at its Norwich site, which is operated by Heatrae Sadia. But overall employment at its Preston site would increase.
Heatrae Sadia has been manufacturing water heating and heating products in Norwich since the company was established in 1920.
Baxi also say the proposed closure of the Norwich site would involve the consolidation of its R&D activity at Preston and the transfer of other support activities to other Baxi Heating UK locations. Baxi’s Bamber Bridge site in Preston already makes boilers and employs around 700 staff.
“This proposal would require significant investment in the Preston site and is supported by our parent company, BDR Thermea Group,” the statement said.
The company were founded in Warwick 1866 by iron founder Richard Baxendale as the Baxendale Company. The firm remained a family business until the mid-1980s when it was sold to the workforce and became the largest employee partnership of its kind in the country.
Baxi’s parent group was formed in 2009 from the merger of Baxi and Dutch firm De Dietrich Remeha. One of Remeha’s divisions, De Dietrich Thermique dates back to 1684 when Johann von Dietrich acquired the Jaegerthal forge in Alsace.
Reporting by Harry Wise