Leeds & West Yorkshire

Failure to find Silentnight land in Kirklees

A "real opportunity" to create jobs in West Yorkshire could not be seized, according to the leader of Kirklees Council.

Bed-manufacturer Silentnight wanted to open a site big enough to consolidate its manufacturing in the area.

But Mehboob Khan, Labour leader of Kirklees Council, said: "We couldn't find a site big enough."

Silentnight is shutting its Rest Assured factory in Batley with the loss of 200 jobs.

Mr Khan said the "biggest hurdle" was finding a site large enough for the company's production.

'Greenbelt land'

He said a new factory would not only have saved jobs but would have created up to 1,000 new posts.

Mr Khan told Look North the only available sites that were big enough were on greenbelt land.

Silentnight previously said sales of beds had fallen by a third since 2008 and it did not see demand improving.

The company said it was consulting employees and unions over the closure of its Rest Assured factory which opened in 1898.

Adrian Fawcett, chairman of Silentnight, said Barnoldswick in Lancashire would become its main factory.

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

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