One of UK’s last piano manufacturers to close in October

Posted on 11 Apr 2013 by Tim Brown

In October Kemble and Co, one of only three piano manufacturers left in the UK, will shut its doors for the last time.

The main shareholder, Yamaha, who bought 90% of the company during the recession in 1986 has decided that its support of Kemble is no longer financially viable.

“As the marketplace for mid-range pianos comes under increasing pressure, and in order to improve our long term competitiveness, the best solution is to fully utilise our manufacturing capacity in other locations,” a Yamaha spokesman told the BBC News.

According to the BBC, rather than feeling any bitterness towards Yamaha for bringing about the demise of Kemble, there is much gratitude for the two decades of support that Yamaha has provided, during which time the company has sold 120,000 pianos. Kemble pianos will continue to be produced in Yamaha factories elsewhere in the world.

The closure will necessitate 90 redundancies at the factory near Milton Keynes. Brian Kemble, joint managing director of the firm and grandson of the founder, said in The Guardian that it was the ‘worst day’ of his life when the closure was announced, adding “My heart goes out to all my staff members who are losing their jobs in such difficult economic times.”

The piano manufacturing industry once supported 300 separate companies but now only two will remain including Cavendish Pianos.