Job losses blow at specialist companies

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NEARLY 100 jobs are set to be axed from two leading firms in Doncaster.

Administrators have been called in to take over borough-based glazing company J.F. Bodman and Sons which employs 34 people.

And specialist engineering firm Bridon has announced that 60 positions are to be lost from next March from its ropery department in the borough.

Zolfo Cooper, the administrators on behalf of J.F. Bodman and Sons, based in Ogden Road on the Shaw Lane Industrial Estate, said the company had suffered a “period of severe cash flow difficulties”.

The supplier of PVC and glazing products has already been forced to let go its entire staff.

Graham Wild, partner at Zolfo Cooper, said: “The company was a victim of the ongoing difficulties in the construction market and therefore experienced severe cash flow difficulties.

“The company ceased trading prior to appointment, regrettably resulting in all staff at the company being made redundant.

“We will now release the company’s assets to maximise returns for creditors.”

Bridon, which was praised by Prince Andrew following a recent visit to its factory in Balby Carr Bank, said all 83 staff in the affected department had been notified.

The firm, which employs over 450 people, has recently invested £30 million in a state-of-the-art new ropery in Newcastle and plans are in place to close its Doncaster’s south ropery site, which dates back to 1938, by the time its Tyneside facility becomes operational next December.

A Bridon spokesman said: “This transfer of operations would improve the business’s competitiveness by significantly cutting manufacturing lead times and allowing us to deliver rope to customers much more swiftly.

“Bridon’s regional operations manager Paul Bissett personally notified all 83 staff potentially affected by this announcement that the company is commencing a period of consultation with union representatives around making a possible 60 positions redundant between March 2012 and June 2013.

“Bridon is committed to maintaining and developing its Doncaster operation in the coming years.

“This commitment is evidenced by the £5 million we have invested in the last six months in upgrading our machinery and manufacturing facilities in Doncaster and the £4.6 million we are investing in developing and building a new technical centre in 2012.”

Devastated Doncaster Central MP Rosie Winterton said: “The loss of 60 jobs is bad news for our community and devastating for those directly affected by this announcement. It is particularly hard for families at this time of year.

“It’s never been more important to make sure Doncaster remains a good place to do business. Every job is important and it’s sad that Bridon International has made this decision.”

Bridon was originally formed in 1924 from an amalgamation of a number of wire rope manufacturers, the earliest of which dates back to the late 18th century.

It has been at the helm of some of the world’s biggest projects including providing the ropes for the new Wembley Stadium and Australia’s Kurilpa Bridge.