[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 30 September 2006, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
China firm quits after 250 years
Generic picture of china
British ceramics manufacturers have been hit by falling demand
Fine porcelain maker Royal Worcester has ended production in a city that has been its home for more than 250 years.

The last 15 production workers left the Worcester firm's Severn Street factory on Friday. Work has been moved to Stoke-on-Trent and abroad to cut costs.

The firm that bore the city's name and the Royal warrant, was founded in 1751 and has made some of the finest porcelain in the world.

The old factory is provisionally part of a new redevelopment in Worcester.

'Redundancies inevitable'

At its height, the firm employed nearly 1,000 people but changing tastes and cheaper imports have seen that number fall drastically.

Only porcelain painters now remain at the site.

About 100 staff were made redundant in 2003 and another 100 went in 2005.

At the time, management said the redundancies were inevitable due to falling demand for traditional products, and were part of a restructuring of its manufacturing.

The site is now in line to be part of the new Waterside redevelopment, which could see up to 400 homes, shops and cafes being built in Worcester.

The Royal Worcester and Spode group has operations in Stoke-on-Trent and North America.

Royal Worcester cuts take effect
21 Apr 05 |  Hereford/Worcs
Last Doulton plant finally closes
15 Apr 05 |  Staffordshire
Price pressures prompt job cuts
07 Nov 03 |  Hereford/Worcs

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific