Lister Petter to leave Dursley after 140 years

The Lister Petter site, Dursley, in the 1920s
Image caption Robert Ashton Lister founded the original company in 1867, which can be seen above in the 1920s
Inside the foundry at the Lister Petter site, Dursley, in the 1920s
Image caption The Dursley site produced its first diesel engines in the 1920s using the foundry pictured above
The boardroom, as seen here in the 1920s, is still used as a boardroom today.
Image caption The wood panelling and fireplace of the 1920s boardroom (pictured) are still there today
The Lister Petter site in Dursley
Image caption Lister Petter is now relocating its production facility 11 miles away from Dursley (pictured)

An engineering firm which has been based in Dursley, Gloucestershire, for 140 years is to leave the town.

Lister Petter, which makes gas and diesel engines, has signalled its intent to move its entire production facility to Hardwicke, 11 miles away.

Stroud District Council has said the move will mean that 200 "skilled jobs" would be retained in the area.

However Dursley Town Council said it was "saddened" that the company's link with the town was coming to an end.

Previously bosses of the plant have said that a move was needed as the site had aged to the point of becoming uneconomical to run.

In 2010, Unite balloted its members at the company and concluded that 98% of staff wanted to stay in Dursley.

Developer St Modwen has now submitted a planning application for the firm to relocate to Quedgeley West Business Park in Hardwicke which it owns.

The purpose-built facility is expected to be completed by spring next year.

Bryan Draper, chief executive officer of the Lister Petter Group, said: "With close links to the M5 and a stone's throw from our existing warehouse at Waterwells, it's the ideal location for us.

"The move would allow us to retain our valued, skilled employees, create further job opportunities and continue Lister Petter's historic association with Gloucestershire."

'Obviously saddened'

Robert Ashton Lister founded the original company in 1867 with the first diesel engines being produced in Dursley 62 years later.

In the years since the company has reduced its workforce and sold off its 92-acre Littlecombe site for redevelopment.

The town council has said it was pleased to learn that the business would be staying in the district, but "obviously saddened" that its history in the town would be coming to an end.

Helen Bojaniwska, clerk of the council, said: "It is disappointing that the company's expansion plans could not be accommodated in the town, but we are hopeful that additional jobs can now be created on the Littlecombe site."

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