Carpet tile manufacturer InterfaceFLOR has entered into consultation with staff and union representatives from Unite, over plans to close its Halifax factory by the end of March this year.
The proposed closure is part of a rationalisation plan for InterfaceFLOR’s European operations. The company proposes to relocate volume production currently undertaken in Shelf to its factories in Craigavon, Northern Ireland and Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands.
The Shelf site, which is also home to InterfaceFLOR’s UK headquarters, currently manufactures 1,600,000 m2 of carpet tiles per annum. InterfaceFLOR has said it would retain the headquarters in Shelf along with sales and marketing offices and R&D facilities.
The relocation of volume manufacturing however, puts 115 production jobs in jeopardy.
InterfaceFLOR has entered into a 30 day consultation period with effected staff and union representative from Unite in order to move forward with its plans and hopes to have shut down 80% of the Shelf-based manufacturing operations by the end of March.
Lindsey Parnell, president and CEO of InterfaceFLOR in Europe says: “It is with regret that I must announce that InterfaceFLOR is entering into consultation over ceasing manufacturing at Shelf. The business case for the proposed closure is, however, strong.”
Mr Parnell said that despite investing in high tech manufacturing technology for the Shelf facility, demand in Europe has not been strong enough to support its continuing activity. “Now, by consolidating our European manufacturing operations in to a smaller number of sites and taking advantage of our recent investments, we would be able to increase our efficiency and achieve annual cost savings in excess of four million pounds,” he commented.