Royston jobs affected by Johnson Matthey division closure plans

Johnson Matthey in Royston

The battery materials division of Johnson Matthey is to close with assets sold off. - Credit: Archant

Royston's biggest employer, Johnson Matthey, has revealed plans to close its battery materials arm - affecting jobs in the town.

The chemical and engineering firm put the division up for sale in November as it said it was unable to compete with alternative technologies and larger, lower cost manufacturers.

But it had been unable to strike a deal, despite talks with a number of possible buyers.

JM is now consulting with the 430 workers across the business over a proposal to shut the division and sell off its assets. Out of about 1,500 employees at Royston, the closure affects approximately 100 jobs. 

A spokesperson for Johnson Matthey told the Crow: "We’re in active talks to sell parts of the business with a number of companies, but as the sales process is confidential, we cannot share any further details at this stage.

"There will also be a full redeployment programme to offer colleagues other opportunities within JM."

Other UK sites affected are Billingham in County Durham and the technology centre near Oxford. There are also some overseas staff in Canada, Finland and Poland.

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Johnson Matthey said it expects to book around £150 million of costs in its annual results for impairment charges from the sale, including redundancy costs.

It had already reported £314 million in impairment charges in its half-year results relating to the value of the division.