Derbyshire manufacturer announces plans to leave county

A major Derbyshire employer has announced it is to move its manufacturing operations out of the county - jeopardising up to 100 jobs.

Thursday, 9th June 2016, 9:33 am
Updated Monday, 13th June 2016, 1:38 pm
Abru Ladders' Belper base at the Derwentside Industrial Park (Photo: Google).

Belper-based Abru Ladders, which is based at the Derwentside Industrial Park on Derby Road, will end production at the site by September this year - moving all manufacturing to its Essex plant at Maldon.

The move, which was announced today by Abru’s parent company Werner UK, comes hot on the heels of Belper clothing giant Courtaulds’ administration, which itself led to the loss of more than 300 jobs.

A statement from the company said: “Werner UK has announced that it will cease manufacturing operations at its Belper facility in Derbyshire, UK and consolidate all its ladder manufacturing for the UK market into its other world-wide manufacturing operations including Maldon, Essex. This process will reach completion by September 2016.

“The primary reason for this decision is for the company to leverage its global manufacturing facilities as efficiently as possible in the face of increasing pressure from worldwide competitors.

“Werner UK and Abru Ladders are grateful for the dedication of their employees, and will work closely with unions and employees to ensure a smooth transition.

“During the coming weeks all employees will be given more information with regard to how this transition will affect them. The Maldon, UK facility will continue its current operations as a centre of excellence for tower based products in addition to certain ladder ranges for the UK market.

“The existing warehousing and distribution facilities operated out of Belper will relocate to an appropriate location and expand to include all ladders for distribution in the UK market. Werner UK is passionate about providing safe, reliable products that meet UK and European standards and will maintain these standards through continued rigorous quality control systems.”

Belper’s MP, Pauline Latham OBE, said: “This is terrible news and another shock for Belper coming hot on the heels of Courtaulds.

“It means another hundred employees looking for work in and around the Belper area.

“Belper has been such a thriving area for a long time and the closure of Abru Ladders is another blow to the town.

“I will do all I can to help those affected by the closure and have contacted the Department for Work and Pensions Minister to see if there is anything we can do to find alternative employment for those employees who suddenly find themselves out of work.”