Coronavirus: Jobs at risk at Stoke-on-Trent pottery manufacturer

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Pottery being made at Churchill China
Image caption,
Churchill China says Covid-19 has had a "major impact" on trade in the hospitality sector

A pottery manufacturer is consulting with staff over potential redundancies due to the impact of Covid-19 on trade.

Churchill China, based in Stoke-on-Trent, said the virus has had a "major impact" on its main markets in the hospitality sector.

It has not confirmed the number of positions that could be at risk.

The firm said it will do all it can to mitigate loss of jobs but "had to take action to safeguard the future of the majority" of its workforce.

In a statement, the company based in Sandyford said the hospitality sector "will be one of the last to reopen under lockdown exit plans and is forecast to remain at substantially lower levels well into next year".

"As such it is important to the long term health of our business that we align our activities with future demand levels from our customers."

A small number of redundancies were previously been made at the manufacturer Steelite, which also closed down for an extra week and cut hours due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Stoke on Trent North Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis said the news was "hard to hear".

"Unfortunately I think that there was always going to be an economic cost of Covid," he said.

"I just hope that what we can do is make sure those who do unfortunately get made redundant can be protected as best as possible in the short term, at least while we find them new employment."

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