A BATLEY bed factory is set to close, costing hundreds of jobs in the town.
Rest Assured, in Soothill, is moving its operations to a site in Lancashire, leaving staff with just 90 days to try and find new employment.
The factory, owned by the Silentnight Group, was at risk of closure earlier this year due to the group’s crippling levels of debt.
HIG Europe, the European arm of global private equity investment firm HIG Capital, bought Silentnight’s business interests, saving 250 Batley jobs – but now factory workers are facing unemployment once more.
Rest Assured’s work will be transferred to Silentnight’s Barnoldswick site, in Pendle, where the company was founded.
More than 100 jobs will be created by the move, however staff at the Soothill factory have been given no option to transfer and remain with the company.
A statement from the Silentnight Group said its overall manufacturing capacity is “too high” for the current bed market, where overall UK market sales are down by almost one-third on 2008 levels.
Adrian Fawcett, chairman of Silentnight said: “We are operating in an extremely tough climate for consumer-facing businesses and Barnoldswick is large enough to potentially absorb the forecast production requirements of both these facilities.
“It is with great regret, therefore, that we are now having to consider the closure of Batley. We are extremely grateful to the hard work of all our colleagues at the factory over the years and we will do our upmost to support our people should they have to move on.”
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has described the transfer to Barnoldswick as “fantastic news”.
He said: “It reaffirms the status of the Barnoldswick site as, not just where the company was founded, but the heart of Silentnight production.”
See next week’s News for the full story.
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