Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 17:31 UK

Metal jobs go as orders withdrawn

More than 30 workers have lost their jobs after a 111-year-old County Durham metal firm went into administration.

Administrators said the reason for the move at Evenwood Industries Ltd, near Bishop Auckland, followed a decision by Caterpillar to withdraw its orders.

More than 40 jobs were lost at the firm in 2008 and the latest losses mean the workforce now stands at 37.

The company is still trading and administrators said they are hoping to find a buyer.

Evenwood Industries was founded in 1898 and supplies sheet metal and welded fabrications, laser cutting and general fabrication work.

Seeking buyer

John Twizell, of administrators Geoffrey Martin and Co, said: "The administration followed directly the decision by one of the company's major customers, Caterpillar, to withdraw all orders despite assurances from Evenwood's shareholders that they would continue to support the business financially in the long term.

"This development has also now, unfortunately, led to a further round of redundancies with the workforce being reduced to 37 employees.

"We would stress, however, that the business is continuing to trade, given the continuing loyalty and support of its other customers.

"It should also be emphasised that we are making every possible effort and pursuing all available options to find a suitable buyer without delay and ensure that a well-known company with a proud heritage will have a viable long-term future."

GMB union regional organiser Stephen Thompkins said it was supporting the workers who had been made redundant and working to protect the jobs of the remaining staff.

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