September 30 2014 Latest news:
By Matthew Gooding
Thursday, July 31, 2014
A factory is set to close with the loss of 50 jobs, and a council is concerned the site could be targeted for housing.
Employees at Welding Alloys plant in The Way, Fowlmere, have been going through consultation on plans to close the factory. They have now been told production will cease at the end of October, and face the choice of taking redundancy or relocating to France, where Welding Alloys have two plants. It is thought a small number of administrative staff will remain working at an office in Fowlmere.
Deborah Roberts, chairman of Fowlmere parish council, said several members of staff at Welding Alloys had been to parish council meetings in recent months.
She said: “They have obviously been very concerned about what was going to happen, and now we’re told the majority of workers are getting redundancy notices.
“My concern is that this means the complete closure of the factory – they’ll be no production at all there, and it’s not as though relocating to a new site in South Cambridgeshire. People are losing their jobs with no chance of keeping them because it’s not realistic for most of these people to move to France; some of them have worked in this factory for 40 years.”
Welding Alloys has been operating from Fowlmere since 1966, and makes welding equipment and alloyed-core wire.
Cllr Roberts added: “We’re worried that they are going to try and turn this site into houses, and the parish council has had meetings with planners at South Cambridgeshire district council.
“This is a commercial premises and we’re keen for employment opportunities to remain in the village. If Welding Alloys does leave town we would want to see the site take on another commercial use.”