Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 19:34 UK

Rooftop wind protest comes to end

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The final few climate change protestors abseil down the factory building

Demonstrators protesting at the closure of a wind turbine blade factory on the Isle of Wight have ended their rooftop action after 11 days.

Three people came down from the top of the Venture Quays building in Cowes, which is used by turbine firm Vestas.

They were supporting the sit-in by workers at the Danish company's Newport factory which ended last Friday.

The rooftop action has finished after Vestas shut sites in Newport and Southampton with the loss of 425 jobs.

The protesters on top of the Venture Quays building came down at about 1100 BST.

Lack of demand

They will head to MP Andrew Turner's constituency surgery requesting urging action on the issue.

The latest protest had seen up to seven people on the roof since it started on 4 August.

Martin Shaw, 44, who spent 11 days on the roof, said: "We are taking the action straight to the MP's office.

Worker jumps from factory
A worker jumped from the first-floor office when the sit-in ended last week

"The campaign continues, it is growing, the workers are organising themselves.

"We need wind turbine production in this country, the government can step in and do that.

"The factory has to be saved, the site is there and the workers want to work."

The company said production had ceased at its sites as of Wednesday and staff had been made redundant.

But 57 employees will continue to work at the Newport factory "for months rather than weeks" to help clear and close the site.

Another 40 employees have been found new roles in the firm's research and development facility on the island, which Vestas has told BBC News it is investing £50m in.

BBC South correspondent Steve Humprey has learned the closed Newport factory will be used for producing prototype wind turbine blades.

Workers sacked

Rob Sauven, managing director of Vestas Technology UK, said: "Our CEO [of Vestas Wind Systems] Ditlev Engel has said he would be very willing to return to the UK with manufacturing when the market is stable and large enough to justify it.

"Obviously, I am very hopeful that day comes soon and I am optimistic."

Staff at the Newport site held a sit-in protest over the planned closure, which ended last week after 19 days when they were evicted by bailiffs.

Eleven employees involved in the sit-in had already been sacked by Vestas as a result of their action.

The Danish firm blamed the closure on the lack of demand for wind turbines in the UK.



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