Remploy furniture factories to close

Posted on 29 Aug 2013

Following an independent review, three Remploy factories will close, leaving more than 190 workers facing redundancy.

Remploy, an organisation that provides employment for disabled people, said no acceptable offers had been made for its furniture business, so it will close sites in Blackburn, Sheffield, and Baglan in Wales.

Nearly 200 employees, 160 of whom are disabled, now face redundancy.

Remploy told the BBC a potentially viable bid had been made for its automotive plants in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby. The company said it wants to negotiate to complete that purchase as soon as possible.

The move follows other Remploy factory closures last year.

In July 2012, ministers said 27 factories would close, arguing the budget for disabled employment services could be spent more effectively.

At the effected factories, workers will be invited to “at least two individual consultation meetings over the next 30 days to discuss the options and the support that will be available to them”.

At the Sheffield factory, 77 people will lose their jobs, of whom 74 are disabled.

At the Baglan, Wales plant, 54 disabled workers face compulsory redundancy and at Blackburn 18 will lose their jobs, of whom 17 are disabled.

Remploy said it has tried to find a viable buyer for the furniture business, in a statement saying: “The Remploy board has given careful consideration to the bids which were assessed for viability on a series of criteria including continued employment of disabled people, value for money for the taxpayer and the sustainability of the business.”

It added: “The board has determined that no viable business bids meeting these criteria were received for the Furniture business and as a result it will close and all its factories will now move to closure.”