Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Monday, 10 August 2009 14:30 UK

Rooftop protesters 'digging in'

The protesters on the Venture Quays building in Cowes
Seven people are now on top of the Venture Quays building in Cowes

Demonstrators are continuing a rooftop protest on the Isle of Wight over the planned closure of a wind turbine blade factory, with the loss of 625 jobs.

Seven people are now living on top of the Venture Quays building in Cowes, which is used by wind company Vestas.

On Friday workers ended a 19-day sit-in protest at the Danish firm's Newport factory on the island.

Meanwhile, Climate Rush group members chained themselves to Lord Mandelson's home so show support for the workers.

The campaigners have gathered outside the Business Secretary's two-storey property in Regent's Park, London, in an "act of solidarity" for the Vestas workers who are set to lose their jobs.

'Local support'

Ellie Robson, 21, a history undergraduate at Cambridge University, said: "Less than two weeks after announcing the government's plans for a low-carbon Britain, Vestas shut down because there's no demand for wind turbines in this country."

The 19-day occupation of the Newport wind turbine blade factory ended on Friday when bailiffs were sent in.

Climate proteters
Members of Climate Rush protested outside Lord Mandelson's home

But members of the support group that climbed the Venture Quays building in Cowes, say they are "digging in" with their protest.

One person left the demonstration while three others joined over the weekend.

Martin Shaw, 44, who has been on the roof since the start, said: "We spoke to the workers when they came out and they want us to stay.

"We are getting so much local support and so far no-one has threatened legal action so we are digging in for the long haul."

The building's owner, the South East England Development Agency, (SEEDA) said it was seeking legal advice.

A spokesman said: "As the landlord we are responsible for people's safety on-site and have spoken to members of the group to recommend they come down for their own safety.

"We also have a responsibility to our tenants and to making sure they are able to operate their businesses.

"We are seeking legal advice on the best way to safeguard these responsibilities."

Vestas has blamed the lack of demand for wind turbines in the UK for the planned closure of the Newport site.



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