Devon

Jobs threat at Devon doors firm Leaderflush Shapland

Leaderflush Shapland factory
Image caption The factory has been in Barnstaple since the 1850s

Up to 95 jobs are at risk after one of Devon's longest established firms revealed it wants to move production to the East Midlands.

One business leader described the decision by door maker Leaderflush Shapland as "desperately bad news".

The workforce at the Barnstaple-based company was halved last May.

Now the firm has said it wants to move manufacturing to Nottingham while about 50 sales and support staff would remain in north Devon.

Barry Passmore, who has worked at the factory for six years, said: "There's always been a bit of uncertainty about the future but when you hear it in the cold light of day it's a bit of a smack in the face really."

'Emotional time'

He added: "A lot of us have got families and it's going to be tough."

GMB organiser Kevin Norman said: "As the second biggest employer that has been in the town for over 100 years this is devastating for the people of Barnstaple.

"We lost 68 jobs 12 months ago in the hope of saving the rest of the workforce but it seems that will not be the case now."

Unions, staff and management met on Thursday to discuss the situation.

The company said it had found a small number of new opportunities for some staff in Barnstaple.

It also said redundancy packages beyond the statutory minimum had been agreed for those affected.

In a statement, the company added: "We recognise that this is an extremely sensitive and emotional time for all involved, and we will continue to talk to the trade unions and employees to discuss the implications."

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