Leeds & West Yorkshire

Batley Silentnight bed factory closure: Hundreds of jobs at risk

Silentnight Batley sign
Image caption 200 jobs could go at the Silentnight factory in Batley as production is transferred to Lancashire

A West Yorkshire bed-making factory which employs 200 people is to shut.

Silentnight said it was consulting with employees and unions over the closure of its Rest Assured factory, at Batley, which opened in 1898.

The firm said it was focusing production at its Barnoldswick factory, in Lancashire, where about 100 jobs could be created.

Silentnight said it was a "difficult decision" to close the Batley plant but bed sales had fallen in recent years.

'Great regret'

The company said bed sales in the UK had fallen by a third since 2008, meaning its current capacity was "too high".

Adrian Fawcett, chairman of Silentnight, said the company was operating in an "extremely tough" climate.

"It is with great regret, therefore, that we are now having to consider the closure of Batley," he said.

"We are extremely grateful to the hard work of all our colleagues at the factory over the years.

"We will do our utmost to support our people should they have to move on."

Mr Fawcett said Silentnight's factory at Barnoldswick would become its main factory.

The company's other plant, at Aspatria, Cumbria, would also continue production.

Peter O'Neill, Labour councillor for Batley West, said the closure of the factory was a "hammer blow" to the town.

"With all these people out of their jobs, their families will suffer," he said.

"It is devastating news and we are going to suffer as a community."

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