Page last updated at 20:30 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 21:30 UK

Hundreds of jobs go at TV factory

Toshiba factory
A core team of about 50 will remain at the plant

TV maker Toshiba is stopping production at its Plymouth factory later this year with the loss of more than 260 workers.

The company said it was centralising its European television production in Poland in what was a "fiercely-competitive market".

A consultation period is under way at the plant, which employs 321 people.

The company said a core staff of about 50 would remain at the Ernesettle factory to repair televisions and advise the Polish team.

I feel very sad, it came as a surprise to most people
Martin Cole, engineer

Andy Bass, managing director of Toshiba Information Systems in the UK, said: "We deeply regret the loss of jobs.

"However, Toshiba has to keep its global manufacturing strategy under constant review in order to compete in a market which has been transformed in recent years by aggressive, price-driven competition."

He added: "We have 28 years of history with Plymouth, and are indebted both to the people who have worked with us over those years and to the wider local community."

Martin Cole, a Toshiba engineer, said: "I feel very sad, it came as a surprise to most people.

Tim Jones, chairman of Devon and Cornwall Business Council

"It was a shock because a lot of effort has gone in over the last couple of years to change the factory around and make it a happier place to work."

A local resident in nearby Ernesettle said: "There's a lot of people from here that rely on Toshiba.

"We're not an affluent area so it's going to affect them very badly."

Terry Keefe, from the union Unite, questioned whether moving production to Poland really did make economic sense.

"People can earn a lot more money in Poland now, so we're not sure that long term this is a great move."

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