Page last updated at 17:41 GMT, Friday, 11 April 2008 18:41 UK

Job losses as linen plant moves

Linen manufacturing is being moved to China
Linen manufacturing is being moved to China

Linen manufacturing at a County Down company is to cease with the loss of 45 jobs.

Ulster Weavers Apparel Ltd announced that manufacturing is to be transferred to China, where Ulster Weavers has had an office for the last three years.

The company will retain its base in Banbridge, employing 25 people in design, marketing and sourcing.

Managing director Declan Gormley said the business had been restructured over the past two years.

"We have managed to accommodate the continued changes and pressures but we are in an industry where pricing pressures are enormous.

"A weak dollar... which is in one of our strongest markets and of course where some of our raw materials come, the euro is at an all-time high.

"So the inevitability of all of those. We have our own crunch, if you like which has just made our position untenable."

It is another sign of the steep decline in Northern Ireland's textile industry, which employed about 76,000 a decade ago.

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